Below is an early attempt at an “Rules for Online Sanity” list. I’d love to hear what you think I missed.
- Reward your “enemies” when they agree with you, exhibit good behavior, or come around on an issue. Otherwise they have no incentive to ever meet you halfway.
- Accept it when people apologize. People should be allowed to work through ideas and opinions online. And that can result in some messy outcomes. Be forgiving.
- Sometimes people have differing opinions because they considered something you didn’t.
- Take a second.
- There’s always more to the story. You probably don’t know the full context of whatever you’re reading or watching.
- If an online space makes more money the more time you spend on it, use sparingly.
- Judge people on their actions, not their words. Don’t get outraged over what people said. Get outraged at what they actually do.
- Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, be charitable in how you read people’s ideas.
- Don’t treat one bad actor as representative of whatever group or demographic they belong to.
- Create the kind of communities and ideas you want people to talk about.
- Sometimes, there are bad actors that don’t play by the rules. They should be shunned, castigated, and banned.
- You don’t always have the moral high ground. You are not always right.
- Block and mute quickly. Worry about the bubbles that creates later.
- There but for the grace of God go you.