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Conversation rules 'enforced in chat rooms'

world Updated: May 26, 2008 17:46 IST

Chatting is the latest fad on the web. But, even in the most liberal of chat rooms, general conversation rules do apply and are largely enforced by those talking to each other, a new study has revealed.

Researchers in Australia have found that a stringent etiquette exists in all kinds of chat rooms people hold each other to the rules and may, more often than not, engage in mundane day-to-day conversation even in the adult arena.

"Rules are a huge thing for people in chat rooms. If someone breaks a rule, they may be chased out of the chat room with insults and sarcasm," according to researcher Danielle Lawson of the Queensland University of Technology.

In their study, the researchers analysed over 6,000 lines of chat room conv,ersation that has taken place over the last decade to see how participants' responded to any kind of rule violation.

Lawson said the rules of the alternative sex chat room she studied included an age restriction to 18 years and older with a ban on posting URL links, posted by spambots and lead to unwanted web content, and a ban on trolling the posting of deliberately argumentative comments or asking for sex.