Netiquette Rules for the Twins List

The Golden Rule This mail list is for parents of twins and higher multiples. Discussion is encouraged on a wide range of topics from conception, through pregnancy, birth, and all issues of parenting twins and multiples at each age and stage of development. PLEASE limit your discussions to twin-related subjects. There are hundreds (thousands?) of other mail lists and newsgroups on the Internet for discussing topics other than those related specifically to twins or multiples. The special situations that we as parents of multiples find ourselves dealing with or have an interest in at one time or another deserve a special place of their own for public discussion.

Netiquette Rules

  1. Read and save the introductory message (Twins List FAQ) you receive when you subscribe.
    It tells how to unsubscribe, switch to individual messages, and much more. If your file gets lost, check the following FAQs at

  2. Take major disagreements and flame wars off the list and use private email.
    Flame wars benefit no one. Here are some steps which can keep things from getting too hot:
    • Be forgiving. Clarify an author's questionable meanings through private email. And remember that even if the author is familiar with netiquette in general, s/he may be new to our list, which has a culture all its own.
    • If you have strong feelings on a topic, wait 24 hours before sending a response to the list. This will give you time to think about your response, and to see if someone else may have already responded in a way that reflects your views.
    • Respond to disagreement without resorting to personal attacks. Strive for integrity in your posts.
    • Additional posts on a hot topic just add fuel to the fire. Even posts saying "please drop the subject" prolong the thread, so please follow the 24 hour rule. If you're behind in the digests, please remember that a topic may already have died out by the time you get to it. Please try to catch up before chiming in.
    • Unfortunately, some people seem to like stirring up trouble. If you think that may be the case, remember that the best way to foil their plans is to ignore them.
    • Be careful about using sarcasm, satire, or tongue-in-cheek-humor; it may be misinterpreted. Use emoticons (smiley faces) to add inflection or express emotion in the midst of your type-written words:
       :-)    ;-)   :-O   :-(   <grin> etc...

    • If you are receiving private messages which you feel are abusive, please contact
  3. Respond using private email unless the entire mailing list may benefit from your response.
    Be careful when using the "Reply" option of your mail browser and know to whom you are sending your message.

  4. Send "Me, too!" or "Congratulations!" messages to the original poster or only those concerned, not the entire list.
    Unless you have something to add which will benefit the whole list, send a message of agreement to the original poster. Messages of congratulations or sympathy are also best sent privately. Yes, it's nice to receive public acknowledgement of special events. But it's also rather upseting if you happen to post about a special event at a time when everyone's too busy to reply.
    Polls also fall into this category. If you're only responding to the question, then send your response to the person conducting the poll. If you have additional information, or a cute story, or something else of benefit to the list as a whole, then send it to the list.

  5. Don't quote/repost the entire message.
    Quote only relevant portions of the post you are responding to in order to provide context for your message.

  6. Use concise, informative subject headings.
    Examples of informative headings would include:
    • Eating Utensils
    • Diaper Rash Cure?
    • Funny Story
    • Re: strollers
    Examples of non-informative headings would include:
    • Re:twins-digest V1996 #302
    • Misc. items
    • Tangential topics
    • Re:
    Also, certain words in the subject line (like Help or Subscribe) can cause your message to be delayed due to the automated mail list server raising flags.

  7. Private email should remain private.
    Don't quote, redistribute, or publicly respond to private email sent to you without asking the permission of the author.

  8. Don't be critical of others' mistakes.
    Try to use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling but don't be publicly critical of others' errors. It's considered bad form to point out errors by posting to the whole list.

  9. Don't type in all upper case letters when you send a message.
    This is known as SHOUTING and, just like in a face-to-face situation, is considered rude.

  10. Keep posts twin-related, and keep it clean.

    • Members should remember that other members may be anybody from a nanny to a grandma to a mother or father. Members are discouraged from posting messages of an adult nature realizing that the nature and character of the discussions may necessitate such posts. When possible an appropriate warning should be included. Please don't send adult humor or links to such.

    • Don't post commercial messages, advertisements, and/or test messages to the list.

Here are some more guides to online communication:
History Online / Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
"The Internet is another country. They do things differently there":

The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette / Index (prepared by Arlene Rinaldi):
a sampling from the Index:

Twins List FAQs:   Copyright © 1996 - 1999 Mary Foley
All Rights Reserved
Permision to reprint all FAQ information is granted to individuals for private use.
Please contact regarding any other reprint permissions.