Take a second to Google the word “netiquette.” Write down the top 5 tips that you encounter. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Did you do it? How many of these tips were particularly revelatory?

The idea of “netiquette,” a vestige of 90s internet-speak left over from the olden days when we called the internetz “the net,” persists in ed tech guides around the world (and especially the ed tech / Center for Teaching and Learning world. This is despite the fact that 1) way more nuanced, robust, and thought-provoking considerations of this problem exist, 2) cultivating respect in hybrid or online classes (or in any class, actually) takes sustained, continual engagement that can’t really be tidily barfed into a list of general rules designed for mass consumption, and 3) telling people that netiquette means we should “show respect” by not yelling in caps lock or to be “friendly, positive, and open-minded” is actively insulting to people who actually face internet harassment, which is scary, complicated, not easily solved or solvable, and a product (like everything else) of systemic injustice.

Let’s take this a little more seriously, y’all, because it is serious and because it’s important. I can pretty much guarantee that trolls aren’t trolling because they didn’t read a guide that told them to be “effective communicators.”