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Facebook users: Think before you poke

The golden rules of social-networking etiquette

If you're among the 62 percent of social networkers who, according to mobile-phone operator Orange, are frustrated and confused by impolite behaviour on Facebook and MySpace, then a new guide from social-etiquette advisor Debrett's could be of help.

Following the research, Debrett's has put together five golden rules to ensure you never make an online faux-pas again.

The rules include gems such as 'think before you poke', allow 24 hours to gather your thoughts before accepting or removing someone as a friend and consider your friends' feelings before posting pictures.

Orange's survey also highlighted that 25 percent of social networkers post embarrassing pictures of friends without asking and 25 percent don't know how to decline an invitation to be someone's friend or be part of a network.

Debrett's etiquette adviser Jo Bryant recommends "play it safe and always employ your usual good manners when online, treating others with kindness and respect".

Mark Watt-Jones, head of development and innovation at Orange, said:"Social networking has had a huge impact on how we interact with friends and colleagues. It's now normal to have friends you never see or speak to."

"These guidelines will ensure you never lose old friends or make unwanted new ones," he added.

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