The Rules of the Internet, often referred to as “Netiquette,” are a set of guidelines that have emerged within online communities to establish acceptable behavior and promote a positive online experience. These rules have evolved over time as the internet has grown and changed, reflecting the values and norms of its users. While not universally recognized or officially enforced, they provide a framework for engaging in respectful and productive online interactions. In this article, we will explore some of the commonly accepted rules of the internet and discuss their significance in shaping online culture.
1. Rule 1: Do not talk about /b/ – This rule originated on the imageboard 4chan, where “/b/” is the random board. It serves as a reminder not to discuss controversial or sensitive topics outside of the appropriate forums or boards, as it can lead to unnecessary conflict or misunderstandings.
2. Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it – Rule 34 humorously points out that, in the vastness of the internet, one can find explicit content related to almost any conceivable subject. It is a reminder to exercise caution and be prepared for the unexpected when browsing online.
3. Rule 63: For every male character, there is a female version, and vice versa – This rule highlights the prevalence of gender-bending or gender-swapping fan art and fiction on the internet. It reflects the creative nature of online communities and their ability to reimagine and reinterpret existing characters and concepts.
4. Rule 404: The Internet is always right – Rule 404 is a sarcastic commentary on the sheer volume of information available online, suggesting that there is always something or someone who can validate a particular viewpoint. However, it is crucial to remember that not all information found on the internet is accurate or reliable, and critical thinking should be applied when evaluating sources.
5. Rule 1337: If you can’t take it, GTFO – Derived from “leet speak” (a form of online slang), this rule implies that if someone cannot handle the often irreverent or harsh nature of online discourse, they should remove themselves from the situation rather than engaging in unnecessary conflict. It emphasizes the importance of resilience and emotional maturity in navigating online spaces.
6. Rule 80085: Boobs are always funny – This rule, based on the juvenile humor associated with numbers that resemble letters on a calculator, suggests that certain themes or subjects, like physical attributes, can often be a source of humor on the internet. However, it is essential to exercise sensitivity and respect for others’ boundaries when discussing such topics.
7. Rule 9001: Over 9000 – A humorous reference to an episode of the anime series “Dragon Ball Z,” this rule represents the tendency for online communities to exaggerate and amplify content for comedic effect. It serves as a reminder that not everything online should be taken at face value, and hyperbole is often used for entertainment purposes.
8. Rule 451: The censorship always increases – This rule alludes to Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451,” in which books are burned to suppress free thought. It serves as a cautionary reminder of the potential for censorship and the importance of defending freedom of expression on the internet.
While the Rules of the Internet may seem whimsical or even nonsensical at times, they reflect the unique and ever-evolving culture of online communities. They provide a shorthand language and a shared understanding among internet users, reinforcing certain behaviors and challenging others. It is important to approach these rules with a critical eye, recognizing their context and understanding that not all of them are applicable or appropriate in every situation. Ultimately, the internet is a vast and diverse space, and respecting the boundaries and preferences of others is essential for creating a positive online experience for all.