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Online Community, Culture, and Citizenship
Online Community, Culture, and Citizenship

Online Community, Culture, and Citizenship Activity: The Ties That Bind: How To Be A Good Online Citizen

Instructions for Your Students

What's Going on Today

Now that you're a regular online VIP, put everything that you've learned so far to use! You know how to set up accounts, ditch unwanted intruders into your e-life, and be an active social media participant. Yes, we know, the "active" part is redundant. Status update. Status update. Status update. You've also thought about the golden rule of how you wouldn't want somebody blasting you in a text or wall post, so you best not be doing that to other peeps either. Pull it all together now to think about building your own friendly online community.


When your instructor asks you to go to the websites below, open them in your browser.

Niki Cheong's video. Watch the YouTube video, then discuss the following questions:

  1. Dustyhawk, one of Niki's followers, said that being a good online citizen means not trolling or flaming. Do you know what these terms mean? 
  2. Can you think of any times that you've run into trolls or flamers? 
  3. What about the other way around: have you ever been a troll or flamed anyone? Why did you do it? Would you do anything differently today? 
  4. What does Royaltylites think about how you can disagree with someone's opinion online? 
  5. Do you agree with Niki that being a good online citizen means verifying facts before you forward information or articles to other people? Is it your responsibility to make sure sketchy information isn't passed on to others?
  6. Has a friend ever forwarded information to you (or told you to read an article or watch a video) that you later found out was false? Did it cause any problems for you? Were you annoyed?

Twelve Tips for Building Positive Online Communities. Read the article and discuss the following questions:

  1. Which communities show examples of some of the positive behaviors listed in the article? Be specific and give examples. 
  2. What positive behaviors are missing from the communities in which you participate? Which tips do you wish members of your online communities would take to heart? What are some strategies to make this happen?

Build your own online community.

  1. What is the organizing topic of the community? History? '80s music? Friendship? Homework? The Hunger Games?
  2. What is the group's name?
  3. Are there any membership limitations or qualifications (example: age limit)? 
  4. Is it a closed group or an open one? What are your privacy settings? 
  5. How will you attract (or keep out) new members? 
  6. What are your five "Rules of the Game," in other words, the "Thou Shalts" and "uh uh, don't even think about its" of your online community? 
  7. What are the consequences for breaking the rules?

PSAs about not being a jerk online.