What is netiquette? Well, simply put, think of it as the IRC equivocal of being plight
- it's having good manners. However, IRC fanatics tend to take it a little more serious
and if you don't follow some simple guidelines - rules that may be very unclear to
you when you first start using IRC - there's a good chance some of the ops on some
channels will kick you off the channel! #GayMen-SA's strategies are devised around
basic common sense. If you are going to join the channel to deliberately act in ways
you yourself know are inappropriate and a op kicks you, you'll soon know why.
Its not possible to outline a definitive list of netiquette guidelines - they're
those things that are unspoken of, you as a well mannered individual having common
sense should know right from wrong, and netiquette often changes from network to
network anyway. However, here are a few that should serve to outline what's being
Firstly, if you're having a bad day, or in a foul mood, then its best to keep off
IRC. The way we sometimes feel, is reflected in the way we respond to someone. Remember:
people you may chat too, don't know you had a lousy day, or you just not in the best
frame of mind. Even though you don't intend it to come across to others you may chat
too of how you really feeling, it may come out in your responses. You'll soon learn
how to read peoples feelings as you become more familiar with the ways of IRC.
On IRC, if we want to yell at someone, we would TYPE IN ALL CAPS. You may have seen
someone be kicked (or you yourself have been kicked) for “shouting”. All it means
is they (or you) were TYPING ALL IN CAPS. Typing in all capital letters is ugly,
and to those who have been around for awhile, it actually “means” someone is shouting.
Imagine: if someone asked you "HELLO, HOW ARE YOU?" in real life, how would you feel
about it? The same goes for putting your nickname in ALL CAPS. Would you want to
always shout your name to someone you talking to in person? Avoid SHOUTING on IRC,
as you would when you are talking to a individual in person. The same is true when
typing in bold - it has the same effect, i.e. it’s annoying to some people! Please
also avoid doing this.
ASLR (age, sex, location, race)
Although it may seem a harmless way to find out about someone, most people don't
like getting ASL questions. Why? Well, different people have different reasons for
it, but here is some to take into consideration. No-one wants to be seen as statistic
data. Most people who are only interested in a person's age, sex, location and race,
are mainly looking for someone to potentially flirt with and nothing else - and it's
a bit on the transparent side! If you want to get to know someone - have a proper
conversation with them.
What's a flood? Well, its not the same as a flood of water is in real life, a flood
on IRC is a large torrent of text. Often, it's the same text repeated over and over
again and again, for example:
<Flooder> Hey! Any one wanna chat to me? <Flooder> Hey! Any one wanna chat to me? <Flooder>
Hey! Any one wanna chat to me? <Flooder> Hey! Any one wanna chat to me? <Flooder> Hey!
Any one wanna chat to me?
Also remember there're people chatting from cell phones, and this is very annoying
for them as they are working on a very small screen. In all likelihood, if there
was no response the first time round, they'll not respond the next time, or the
next after that, or the next - however, after a while, they may well respond unpleasantly.
Flooding is very irritating to the other users, because many people will be trying
to have legitimate conversations, and flooding disturbs their flow of conversation
and makes their screen a mess.
Joining it for a few seconds every few minutes then leaving, can be annoying for
the people on the channel. Don’t repeatedly pop in and out the channel - you may
find yourself being banned for a period of time.
Different channels have different views about it - sitting in a channel whilst not
paying any attention to the conversations on it - in some it's okay, on others it's
strictly prohibited. If you going to join a channel, at least make an effort to chat.
Bad Manners (Swearing)
It's as disdained on IRC as it is in real life. Of course, different channels have
different views about it, just as different people have different opinions in real
life about it, but to be on the safe side, don't use bad language, especially not
if it's your first time in the channel! It won't make you look good and can only
harm your image. Being vulgar is never a good idea in any social circles.
This is the same on IRC as in real life. It's always a good policy to say “thank
you” and “please” and “you're welcome” to people when they deserve it. On IRC, you
may notice that people may abbreviate these statements. Courtesy will always go down
well, in real life or on IRC, so use it whenever applicable and you'll find people
respond to you much better!