McMaster values integrity, inclusiveness and teamwork, and strives to support the personal and collective growth of the McMaster student community. Even during difficult times, Marauders remain committed to excellence and the principles of mutual respect, responsibility, dignity, and the wellbeing of others.

In this time of rapidly changing circumstances and a new learning environment, it is important for each of us to practice good netiquette.

What is ‘Netiquette’?

Netiquette refers to online etiquette, or standards for communicating and good behaviour on the internet. Netiquette applies to all online communication — from email to the online classroom to social media platforms.

Check out below for information and tips about good netiquette.

Before you send a comment or post, ask yourself:

  • Could anything in this message come off as rude, insensitive or disrespectful?
  • Is this something I would keep to myself if I were communicating in person?
  • Was I upset, frustrated or angry when I wrote this message?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should review and edit your message before you send it

Understanding changes when communicating online.

  • Consider how others might interpret your words or actions.
  • It’s harder to convey tone online, so avoid using sarcasm or humour that could be misinterpreted.
  • To avoid further confusion, ask for clarification if you need help understanding a message or comment.

You may encounter people with opposing opinions. In these situations:

When responding:

  • Be respectful.
  • Don’t insult the other person or make personal remarks.
  • If you feel angry or upset about an interaction, take a break to calm down and respond at a later time.
  • Ask about the person’s intent, and allow them to explain their perspective.

Use proper grammar and punctuation.

  • Writing in all capitals can seem aggressive and be perceived as anger.
  • Avoid slang, short-form terms, emojis and emoticons. Some people might not understand what you’re trying to communicate.