10 commandments of internet behaviour

10commThe most important rule of watAgame’s social media platforms is simply “Be nice”. It’s a broad statement, as it basically encompasses everything that concerns polite behaviour and speech online. Internet has become a big and vital part of our lives, but it sometimes brings out the worst in people. The perceived sense of anonymity makes some people bolder and less inhibited, which results in behaviour that borders on cruel, hateful and downright illegal. You wouldn’t insult someone on the street or at a restaurant, but the online world blurs the lines. People don’t see the being on the other side of some video or a post as a real person. And that makes it easier to be mean.

The recent government elections in Poland sparked a civil action against all that negativity. Celebrities, journalists and other influential people talked about “hater culture” and how people could stand above it and have a polite conversation about divisive topics. We think that all the points that they mentioned in their statement are relevant for all discussions that take place online. It’s especially valid where children are concerned, since they tend to imitate behaviour that they see often.

We adapted their points to fit watAgame’s profile, however the message remained the same and is relevant in any social media:

  1. Be brave
    Always take responsibility for what you write online.
  2. Use nice words
    Even if others use bad language, you stay polite.
  3. Be tolerant
    Don’t publish hateful statements. Being different doesn’t make another person evil.
  4. Don’t troll and don’t feed the troll
    Don’t be provoked by trolls and orks, don’t stoop to their level.
  5. Be mindful about what you say
    Hateful speech online hurt many people. And you’re not a criminal!
  6. Think before you speak
    If the best option seems to be offending the other person then it means that either they’re right or you can’t properly justify your opinion. Think before you engage in any discussions.
  7. Understand
    Understanding doesn’t mean agreeing. All people are different and have the right to their own opinions, viewpoints and ideas.
  8. Make an effort
    It’s more difficult to form opinions than insults. But try! You can do it!
  9. Give others space
    Don’t harass and threaten others with aggressive messages.
  10. Help keep order
    Report mean and hateful comments and messages to the administration and, if necessary, proper law enforcement.

It basically all boils down to Momio’s “Be nice” statement, however it’s good to split it into smaller bits that are easier to understand and explain to kids. It takes a real effort to be kind to someone who is being mean, but it shows that they’re being petty and you’re the bigger person. It’s one of the messages watAgame’s socia media strongly supports.

About the author:

Diana Cereniewicz, watAgame

Diana Cereniewicz is a Polish Community Manager. She started working at watAgame in June 2015 when Momio was launched in Poland. She has a master’s degree in English literature and language, and dabbles in translation and interpretation as well. She also does diverse online content creation and moderation.