The Luxembourg Netiquette: for a respectful coexistence online

  • Awareness
  • 11/10/2017
  • Luxembourg Safer Internet Centre

The Press Council of Luxembourg and BEE SECURE (the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre (SIC)) have published some ground rules for users in the form of "Netiquette".

"Racism and hatred have no place in our lives. Neither online, nor offline." This quote by Barbara-Gorges Wagner (Kanner-Jugendtelefon/BEE SECURE) could be the motto for the announcement of a recent press conference at the Maison de la Presse concerning the publishing of a common "Netiquette" for the Luxembourg media landscape.

A netiquette is a collection of behavioral suggestions and/or rules to make online interaction more pleasant for everyone. The term contains the word "Net" (internet) and "etiquette" (Code of Conduct). The disadvantage of communicating online is that we cannot see to whom we are talking to and sometimes may not react as keenly as we would offline. In text-based communication in particular, such as in Facebook comments for example, discussions can degenerate quickly – which often leaves frustration on all sides.

This new Netiquette is a simple set of rules for any user who wishes to express his or her opinion in online commentary on news media websites or social media profiles in Luxembourg. These rules allow the Luxembourg media landscape to provide more clarity to users about comments viewed as tolerable and comments crossing the line of freedom of speech. Moreover, the joint Netiquette initiative is a sign of solidarity and mutual respect among Luxembourg press organisations.

The Netiquette highlights two important issues to bear in mind, not only when commenting, but in any kind of online communication:

  • Behind every screen is a person - therefore, respectful coexistence is just as important on the web as it is in our daily lives.
  • The internet is not a space without rights - national and international laws apply on social media as well.

The Press Council of Luxembourg and BEE SECURE developed the Netiquette in close collaboration. It marks the end of the campaign "SHARE RESPECT - Stop Online Hate Speech" which, for over a year, has focused on various themes related to online hate speech, raising awareness for respectful coexistence on the internet.

View the entire Netiquette at in Luxembourgish, French and German. An English language version will be coming soon.

Find out more about the work of the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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