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RHJ's Netiquette

Moderated groups and unmoderated groups have expected social behavior. This was written to help you understand RHJ’s rules or behavior, known as "netiquette".

*Post on topic

RHJ is for the humor and the discussion of humor, mostly Jewish. This newsgroup (NG) is very specific about what subjects are and are not appropriate, and posting an irrelevant message is considered rude. If a given subject begins to meander from RHJ’s focus, move the discussion to another group or to private email. Keeping on topic also means refraining from launching personal attacks against readers or the moderators of the newsgroup. Furthermore, participation in or attempts to incite a flame war is also considered a violation of RHJ’s netiquette.

*Avoid lengthy intros or sigs

Intros and lengthy sigs are discouraged from RHJ. While funny the first time, it can result in people skipping your post. Think of it like this... imagine how tedious it would be if *every* comment someone made in a live conversation were prefaced with a lengthy introduction and ended with a lengthy sig?

*Think before you speak (lurk before you post)

If you don't, the readers will probably think you are stupid and/or thoughtless, not to mention all kinds of other bad things. When you first enter RHJ, read a few days worth of posts. Get a sense of who the people are. Look to see if a joke you’re about to post has just been posted by someone else. Then go ahead and post.

*Respect the culture

Most posters to newsgroups look down on those with poor manners. Always be civil, don’t use profanity. Don’t be lewd, abrasive, argumentative, or rude.

*Look your best

Without visual cues, people will view your grammar, spelling, and punctuation just as people view your attire and cleanliness. Be sure your text is clear and logical. It's possible to write a paragraph that contains no errors in grammar or spelling, but still makes no sense. That’s why many people prefer to compose offline. If you have language difficulties, compose offline and use your word processor’s spell/grammar checker. If English is not your first language, do your best. Other posters will respect your efforts.

*Don’t use obscure "insider" abbreviations or obscure smilies.

Most people know:
IMHO - in my humble opinion
AFAIK – as far as I know
LOL – laughing out loud
ROTFL – rolling on the floor laughing
OT – off topic
BTW -- by the way
IIRC -- if I remember correctly
FWIW -- for what it's worth

*Don’t excessively crosspost:

Crossposting to additional newsgroups is sometimes seen as improper. RHJ accepts a limit of 4 crossposts, and messages cannot be crossposted to other moderated NGs (for technical reasons).

*Don’t post HTML or binaries

Encoded binaries (also known as UUENCODED files) are not permitted in RHJ. Although HTML files are permitted in RHJ, many people will not be able to read your post. For this reason, posting in HTML is discouraged. If your HTML references a non-included binary, it will be rejected (for technical reasons).

*Should you respond to the group or directly to the author?

If you've read enough threads, you've already learned how annoying it is to go through "Me Too" posts. A "Me Too" is a post that says "I agree with what the other guy said" and otherwise does not add to the content. Other posts in this category are "very funny" and "post more jokes". A good thread should read like a thoughtful discussion. If you like someone else’s post, compliment them via private email.

*Don’t post personal messages.

If you have a message for one poster, use private email.

*What if their address is bogus or munged?

Some people do not want to get unsolicited email and therefore put a spam blocker in their address. This may look like this "" In most cases, just removing the nospam will provide you with the correct address. Some others deliberately provide bogus addresses. This can be for a variety of reasons, perhaps they are crypto-Jews, perhaps they are not permitted to receive email (at work, for example). Even if this is the case, posting personal messages is still a violation of netiquette; having a bogus address is not.

*Is this post legal? Breaking the law is bad netiquette If you're tempted to do something that's illegal, chances are it's also bad netiquette. This applies to copyright, forgery, slander, defamation, threats of violence, and advocating violence.

*Forwarding a joke you got via email

It is wrong to post someone else’s email address to the Usenet. Giving credit to your source (Joke from Mary M in Rochester) is good form – but not their whole address.

*Plagiarism is wrong

If you pass along someone else’s post as your own, you are plagiarizing. Briefly credit your source. For example "sent to me by IrvingT". Don’t list their entire email address unless they’ve posted it to this newsgroup (see above). If someone sends you an unattributed lengthy and beautifully written ‘column’, consider doing a quick web search before posting it. You may find that it was written by Dave Barry, Ann Landers, or another columnist, and has copyright protection. Read our copyright FAQ for information about passing along copyrighted posts.

Respect others’ religious beliefs and culture

Recognize that others have religious beliefs which may differ from yours. Conversion activity is absolutely prohibited. Don’t take other to task for not knowing certain aspects of Jewish law. Do feel free to politely enlighten them and the other readers of RHJ.

English is the lingua franca of RHJ

Post in English. Use Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino or another Jewish Diaspora language if you provide translations or the words appear in the RHJ Glossary (posted weekly’ish and available at our website).

Don’t use ALL CAPS

All-caps translates as shouting.

Adhere to the same high standards (or higher) of behavior online that you follow in real life.

In real life, most people are fairly polite and law abiding. The same rules of behavior are expected in RHJ.

Don’t swear

The Usenet is not your personal toilet. Many people are offended by swearing. If you feel that cursing in some form is required, it's preferable to use amusing euphemisms like "effing" and "sugar." You may also use the classic asterisk filler -- for example, s***. And everyone will know exactly what you mean.

Don’t use racial, ethnic, or gender slurs

Use of slurs needlessly offends people – whether or not they’re a member of the group you’ve insulted. RHJ is a humor group – and slurs are not funny.

Quoting messages

It is bad netiquette, for example, to quote a 50 line message with only a few words of original text. It is also bad form to fail to quote a message on which you are commenting. And lastly, it is bad form to delete sections or text from a message to which you are responding – unless you use the device [snip], [cut], [text deleted], an ellipsis or something like that.

Know what you're talking about and make sense

Pay attention to the content of your writing. Be sure you know what you're talking about -- when you see yourself writing "it's my understanding that" or "I believe it's the case," ask yourself whether you really want to post this note before checking your facts. You can always ask "is it true that…?"

Don't post flame-bait. Don’t publicly flame

While "flaming" (publicly berating) is acceptable in some newsgroups, it is not accepted in RHJ. Be pleasant and polite. Don't use offensive language, and don't be confrontational for the sake of confrontation. Don’t harass someone publicly or privately over a difference in opinion.

Don't abuse your power

Some people in the internet have more power than others. Knowing more than others, or having more power than they do, does not give you the right to take advantage of them. If you disagree with someone, it is Very Bad netiquette to forge their header, complain to their ISP, flame them in an unmoderated NG, post their name and home address, or place them on emailing lists.

Be forgiving of other people's mistakes

If someone makes a spelling or grammatical error, errs in the title of a song, or makes some other minor typo, don’t post just to correct them. If you feel you must educate people, do it by private email. Everyone was a network newbie once -- be kind about it. Having knowledge doesn't give you license to correct everyone else. If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don't know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. Pointing out netiquette violations are in themselves examples of poor netiquette!

Don’t post questions to the moderators

It’s okay to ask the mods questions. In RHJ, it’s not okay to *post* these questions. Use private email to the questions address.

Don’t harass the moderators

If you disagree with a moderators decision, you can appeal it. It is perfectly acceptable to question or appeal a decision. But if you lose the appeal, accept it as a misunderstanding and go on. Moderation is not omniscience nor possessing Solomon-esque judgement capabilities. It is volunteering to do one's best. The workload is enormous -- starting up the NG took *many* hundreds of hours, being a moderator is a significant commitment of one's time. Please be nice to us, we’re human and we do make mistakes.

Don’t use the subject "joke"

Use descriptive and specific subject lines. This helps others decide whether your particular words of wisdom relate to a topic they care about.

Reply to current threads

Most servers and news readers delete messages after two weeks. Reply to current messages. If you’re replying to message more than 2 weeks old, treat it as a new thread or be sure to include a copy of the message you’re referring to.

Rev 12/1/98