Still, this debate reminds me of something I copied from my friend Adriana’s blog several years ago and have often used when explaining netiquette to various audiences:
“On the internet you are not an institution. If you want to be and behave like one, you get isolated and bypassed… It’s back to communication between human beings, communities and sometimes mobs. The rules of social interactions apply – if people challenge you on something you have done or said and you don’t respond, expect a commensurate impact on your reputation or credibility.
“If people make fun of you or try to embarrass you, the choice is to remain silent in hope of appearing dignified or to shoot back, with indignation or with humour. It depends. Different responses will be appropriate at different times and different circumstances. That is why etiquette is so complicated. Media and communications strategies don’t even come close. The main difference is that you don’t need to be ‘trained’ for online communication; it’s the one that you already know. And whether you are good at it or not has nothing to do with communication skills but with respect for others and some good manners.”