The recent public fracas over Hone Harawira’s email (read it at tvnz.co.nz) raises a number of interesting issues in relation to Netiquette, the most fundamental being “you should not send heated messages even if provoked.” http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1855.
Mr Harawira’s email is now legitimately in the public arena “if you want to take this to the press, go right ahead” This invitation set aside another piece of netiquette which protects the content of a private email being shared without the sender’s permission… although there may be debate about whether someone in public office responding to a member of the public, has this protection.
Whilst most of us exercise reasonable caution when using email or posting information, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that cyberspace is public space and in a public space people can view and even more importantly copy and manipulate your material in legitimate and not so legitimate ways. Your lack of caution may come back to bite you…hard. So be careful what you post in public and Google or Pipl yourself regularly to check that if there’s anything ‘out there’ about you, that you are not comfortable about it.
Check for previous articles on this topic in our archives.