Geek Series: The Rules of the Internet for Dummies

The internet is a magical, wonderful, beautiful place where people share knowledge, interact with each other, and where all common sense, logic, and etiquette go out the window. The Rules of The Internet is a bit of of an effort to tie the internet into a tidy little package, easily understandable and accessible to all, all while providing advice and warning to the less-than-savvy internet user.

Like the internet, you could say it went all to hell pretty damn quickly.

The Rules of the Internet are famous and infamous in their own right, and very little of it is set. The rules that ARE set are the more famous (i.e. notorious) of them. Th original 50 were originally posted on a 4chan board in 2007, and even then, they have been changed around a fair amount. That’s just the way the internet works.

Because I am a nice, caring person with no life, I have decided to take the more famous (And infamous) of the rules and post them here for your enjoyment, and warning.

For each week, I’ll post 7 or so named rules and a little explanation (For the uninitiated) for each, along with some, ah unofficial ones out there that I have encountered, and that are good to know for general reference and/or abiding by, for a total of 10. I’ll try to do them in order, but since (as I said) the rules aren’t set, so, depending on the different sources you use for reference, the rules seen here may be out of order/differently numbered.

So, without any further ado, here are the (more famous and unofficial) RULES OF THE INTERNET.

1. Do not talk about the /b/.

The /b/, if you may be wondering, is the nebulous mass of profanity, perversion, and newly-born memes known as 4chan. It is essentially a chat forum with pictures. Nearly half a million (!) people use every day.

Why aren’t you allowed to talk about, you ask?

Because of an internet meme.

(Which pretty much sums up 4chan in its essence, actually.)

2. Do not talk about the /b/.

See above.

3-5. We are Anonymous.

I have discussed Anonymous in a previous post, and I will say this again: Do not mess around with them. If you are a small-scale blogger like me, you might be able to trash them some, but if you’re the government, FBI, Westboro Baptist Church, or the Church of Scientology, you are screwed. They do not forgive, or forget, like some sort of elephant-like hive-mind with an internet connection and traceable archives.

Expect them.

10. There are no real rules for posting…

This applies to any given blog, commentary, or forum. Sure, they might the fancy list of ‘rules’ at the top, and, hell, they might even screen the comments before they’re posted, but you’d be surprised what people can sneak in. On the internet, anything goes.

11. …or for moderation.

Mods are only human. Often, they will block comments or even ban people that they disagree with or have a vendetta against. It isn’t fair, but it happens. You have been warned.

12./13. Anything can be used against you/be turned into something else.

This speaks for itself, and is one of the most important rules to remember. Be very careful with what you post, as it can be taken in a completely different way, and used against you. A famous (and controversial) example is when PewDiePie, a YouTube personality, made a sarcastic comment (Though many will argue otherwise) that basically caused a giant flame war.

Don’t do this. Be careful what you post. (A message from your friendly neighborhood dragonchick)

14. Don’t feed the trolls.

You know that one kid that you sat in front of in elementary school? Y’know, the one that would do a million little maddening things, like poke you in the back, or steal all of your pencils, or stick gum on your chair, until you finally snapped at him and got yourself in trouble?

Trolls are like that, except instead of hiding your pencils, they insult your taste in music. (Or movies, or whatever.) Don’t snap at them, or get angry. This is what they want. Just ignore them (No matter how annoying/insulting they are) and move on. (I know. It’s hard.)

Bonus Rule: The Rules of the Internet aren’t set.

Like I said before, they aren’t. Heck, the only numbered ones that are really accounted for are 34 and 63 (more on that later.) Like the Bible, and the music video for Of Monsters and Men’s ‘Little Talks’, the Rules are mostly up for individual interpretation. So, don’t count on anything official; However, most of the ones I cover here are fairly well-known/actual good advice. (As far as I know, at least.)

Bonus Rule: Sturgeon’s Law

That is to say, 90% of everything is crap.

People forget this. They learn where to get the best coffee, they read the best, most popular books, and know the best restaurants. They are so used to seeing the cream at the top that they forget about the scum lurking at the bottom that makes up everything else. The internet is helping Sturgeon’s Law make a comeback, and even scew the ratio a fair amount.

For every good fanfic, there are about 99 million lemony, Mary-Sue filled, grammatically horrendous slash fics. For every Breaking Bad, there are hundreds of Honey-Boo-Boos. For every interesting episode of Naruto, there are 99 fillers. The list goes on and on. The most important thing is to be able to discern the crap from the cream. (Sometimes, it’s harder than you think)

Bonus Rule: Half-Life 3 will come out…right after the Rapture.

And not this Rapture.

Valve is considered one of the greatest video-game companies, hands-down, ever. It created Steam, revolutionized gameplay and game creation, and nearly every single game they’ve ever made is critically praised. It created the Portal, Team Fortress, and Left 4 Dead Series (And sequels.)

Oh, and Half-Life.

Half-Life is Valve’s most famous series, praised for its compelling characters, immersive gameplay, and gripping storyline, follows the adventures of Gordon Freeman, and his crowbar-swinging attempts to save the world from an alien invasion. The first game was released in 1998 for PC, and in 2001 for PS2. Half-Life 2 was released in 2004 (Along with Episode 1 and 2 in 2006 and 2007, respectively.)

And then…Nothing.

No news, no release dates, no trailers, just…nothing. Valve certainly wasn’t defunct. It went on to produce games such as Portal 1 and  2, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, and Team Fortress 2, along with mods and DLCs for all of them. Nobody knows what, when, or even if HL3 will come out. There are many crazy fan theories and jokes surrounding this, ranging from it being held custody by the government, to the making Gabe Newell fat jokes pushing back the date. Unfortunately, Valve runs on its own timetable. Literally, there is a phenomenon known as Valve Time. So, when HL3 actually comes out is anybody’s guess.

Maybe Gabe Newell will take the faithful up to Valve headquarters one day to play Half-Life 3 forevermore, and leave the rest of us sinners down here with E.T.

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