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In 2016, the International Telecommunication Union reported that there were more than 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, with 3.2 billion people using the Internet. In other words, just less than half of the global population is online. With this level of penetration, the Internet is a collision of cultures and backgrounds, with disparate social norms and expectations, including those pertaining to Internet use, regulation, copyright, anonymity, and netiquette. This entry defines the terms etiquette and netiquette and discusses how netiquette applies to online communications, particularly email and social media.

Although countries have set laws and guidelines concerning Internet use, there are no explicit, standardized rules for users, and if use guidelines exist, they differ across cultures both globally and within insular online environments. The autonomy and ...

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