Digital Citizenship and Netiquette

How to behave on the web (for 9 - 12th grades)

The web is a public forum

Once you write something anywhere on the web - or through email and other apps - others can see it. Depending on the control you retain over the content you generate, it can be shared with some close friends or family, or be there for anybody to see it. Think about the Internet as a nearly infinite blackboard: you may choose to write down something for everybody, or you may want to share something with some and not others, placing a little sign over the message saying "For authorized people only". Two problems arise quickly: you have been given paint instead of chalk, and you cannot erase anything; and anybody who wants to access what you wrote for private purposes only has to lift the sign.
The rule of thumb when publishing on Internet is that there is noting really private, nothing is really safe, and NOTHING is ever forgotten.
Digital Citizenship is the collections of untold rights and obligations one has when publishing on Internet - be it a webpage or a simple comment, a video or a "like" on Facebook.
  • You have the right to access everything that everyone has voluntarily shared.
  • You have the right to publish your own thoughts, creations, etc.
  • You have the right to not be harassed or threatened during your online activities. Moderators or, if nothing solves the situation, the authorities can and must intervene when needed.


  • You have the obligation to observe the basic rules of Netiquette: express yourself correctly and understandably (no "txt msg" style), address your interlocutors with respect and restrain.
  • You have the obligation to yourself to not post or share or publish anything that may become embarrassing in the future - not all jokes are funny forever, very few dares are worth taking, etc.
  • You have the obligation to report illegal content or threats that you may come upon.


YouTube Digital Citizenship Curriculum
The nine elements of digital citizenship
Netiquette by The School of Netiquette

Information and resources

A definition of Netiquette:
An in-depth analysis of Netiquette:
Netiquette in Education:
Study guides and strategies on Netiquette:
The Digital Citizenship webpage, with resources:
Digital Citizenship for Teenagers:
A collection of activities and lesson plans for DC:

About me

I am a student at Kansas State University, majoring in Physics and Education. Multimedia and digital literacy being some of the many skills students must learn early on, I believe that Netiquette and Digital Citizenship are necessary skills to develop in concert.