For a printable version of these guideline text in this post, please click on the PDF link below to download.
A Practical Facebook Netiquette Guide, by Minh Tan [23 kB PDF] (last updated Nov 19 2008)
For additional and more comprehensive content on the topics within this post, please see My Facebook Etiquette posts, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and A Detailed Facebook Etiquette Guide. Additionally, avoid potential Facebook trouble when around careless Facebook users.
This document is now also available in Spanish. Many thanks to David Iza for translating!
This post was noted the blog of Regina Lewis of the Do-It-Yourself Network on Nov 19, 2008.
On-line presence profiling, especially on-line social networking with Facebook, is becoming more common as schools and employers screen potential employees and scholarship recipients in yet one more category in their selection processes. This is especially important for teenagers and students who are often too casual in their on-line social networking, with emphasis on Facebook as a dominant player in the market.
This is a practical guide of Facebook etiquette, or “Netiquette”, you can use to customize your Facebook Netiquette. As you read it, check off what you agree, note where and how you want to differ, then create your Facebook Netiquette by writing or typing out all the new guidelines to help you remember them. Put it somewhere easily accessible and/or visible to you for easy reference as you Facebook. Doing this in a group with your friends and/or Parents might also be effective.
Avoid negativity, especially with feelings and anything about other people
No swearing, even if positively and abbreviated like LMFAO (or not excessively if you do)
Learn to say NO to invitations (Friends, Applications, Groups, certain events not good to publicize)
Do as little as possible, preferably not at all, not the least because poking is so “old school”
Set your profile to Only Friends privacy, giving nobody limited access as they should not be your Friend
Only have Friends you’ve met in person, and purge your list a few times a year as friendships fade
Have people in front of whom you need to behave among your Facebook friends as “designated monitors”
Do not list personal contact information (ex. address, phone #, birth year, specific job locations like store)
Don’t update your status more than a few times a day, avoiding statuses directed at one or few people
Defend your Wall by deleting inappropriate comments or counter with reply if you don’t want to delete
Keep tagged photos of yourself under 200, untag the less flattering and inappropriate ones
Minimize tagging to let people tag themselves in photos, and don’t tag anyone in unflattering ways
Use Notes to share something genuine, avoiding personal attacks, “self-surveys” and diatribes
Be selective where you comments, expecting it to be public and what you comment for proper manners
Control privacy setting each time you post something, sharing Only with Friends most of the time
Minimize Notifications sent, turning off for Applications when adding unless their news are worth sharing
Minimize Applications, especially inappropriate ones, games that waste time, or ones with few users
Groups & Fan Pages
Check details of Groups and Fan Pages before you join, especially for authenticity (ex. authorized pages)
Don’t start, join or invite others to groups or pages with news or names withheld by media or law, until after release
Go through your profile and make adjustments to make your profile suit your Netiquette rules, bit by bit
Occasionally, ask someone for an honest impression they get from your profile and fix it till you’re happy
If you do “inappropriate” things on Facebook, come back and delete it later to minimize visibility & damage
Purging to Update
Purge things a few times a year (ex. bad or outdated photos, Friends, Groups, Fan Pages, Notes, comments)
Don’t get caught up in other people’s inappropriate behaviour, stick to your Netiquette & update it as needed
Treat your Facebook profile & activity like an informal resumé or media image of yourself, cause it is!
Please share with all you know who Facebook and check this link for periodic updates.
Please feel free to leave comments and I will do my best to give an answer.