Chatiquette is the etiquette of the Internet chatting world. Included here is advice on how to conduct yourself, and how you should expect to be treated during your chat experiences.
1. Show RESPECT to other people. If someone disrespects you ignore him or her, rather than to argue with him or her and spoil the enjoyment of the other people who may be present. Avoid the use of language or attitudes, which may be offensive to others (see No. 3 and 4 below).
2. When entering a chat room for the first time, be cool and try to get the 'feel' of the room and the people in it before you jump right in. If the atmosphere of the room is not what you are looking for, just leave and try another.
3. Remember that you are not anonymous. All chat servers are capable of capturing your IP (email address), and most of them log all visitors to a file. Your IP address leads to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) who maintains your person information on file. (See No. 4 below)
4. Remember that chat is not private. Chat programs on chat servers are file oriented, and all posts (messages) are in the file(s). Conduct yourself as if what you say is being recorded, because it is. (See No. 3 above)
5. Address each post to the party to whom it is directed. Posts, which are not addressed to anyone sometimes, are not answered. Most people reply to posts directed at them, unless they have good reason not to. (See No. 6 below)
6. Reply to any post directed to you in a courteous manner, unless there is good reason not to. Don't confine your chat to one person only, as others may take offense or feel left out.
7. Use bolding and/or caps for emphasis only; continuous 'shouting' can be annoying.
8. If you have questions, ask away, but in a courteous manner. Most people will respond in like manner, and, if your question is too personal for them, they will politely say so. Asking questions is an excellent way to start conversations. Most people like to welcome and help 'newbies'.
9. If someone arrives who is being offensive, ignore that person. Do not post to him/her and do not mention him/her in your posts to others, except to advise them to ignore him/her. An offensive person quickly tires of talking to him/her self and leaves. Report any such incident immediately to the chat service so that appropriate action can be taken. The longer you wait, the more work it is to go through logs and files (see No. 3 and 4 above).
10. It is acceptable to give your email address to others, and to ask others for theirs. Giving out one's email address is a matter of personal preference, and declining to do that should not be taken as an insult.
Jun 4, '03
Can I add - please do not rehash old arguments. All too often one poster says something unfortunate and is chastised (rightly or wrongly) apologises and makes peace only to have someone else - often 20 or 30 posts later bring the subject up for discussion again.
If something someone says offends you please check first to see if the issue has already been resolved if it has let it lie.