The Singapore LGBT encyclopaedia Wiki

The term Netizen is a portmanteau of the words Internet and citizen as in "citizen of the net".[1][2][3] It describes a person[4] actively involved in online communities or the Internet in general.[5][6] The term commonly also implies an interest and active engagement in improving the Internet, making it an intellectual and a social resource,[4] or its surrounding political structures, especially in regard to open access, net neutrality and free speech.[7] Netizens are also commonly referred to as cybercitizens, which has similar connotations.Template:Citation-needed
The term was widely adopted in the mid-1990s as a way to describe those who inhabit the new geography of the Internet.[8] Internet pioneer and author Michael F. Hauben is credited with coining and popularizing the term.[4][9][10][11][12]

Quotations from Michael and Ronda Hauben[]

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Hauben describes the distinction to Internet users in general by saying:[13][14][15] Template:Pull quote

In China[]

In Chinese, the terms wǎngmín (网民, literally "net-people") and wǎngyǒu (网友, literally "net-friend") are commonly used terms meaning "Internet users", and the English word "Netizen" is used by mainland China-based English language media to translate both terms, resulting in the frequent appearance of that English word in media reporting about China, far more frequently than the use of the word in other contexts.[16][17]

The net[]

In the view of netizens the net is a technological and social development in the vain of invention and spread of the printing press that should be an uncommercialized public common. It allows for participation and brings power to people's lives, being a public forum where real problems and concerns can be aired in the open and help toward solutions is provided, collaborative decision-making can take place, the development of ideas and knowledge is quickened and where those responsible are made accountable to the general public. Furthermore it allows people to come to gether to communicate about common interests and to come into contact with people with similar and differing ideas.[18]

The Netizen Prize[]

Main article: Reporters Without Borders#Netizen Prize

The international nonprofit organization Reporters Without Borders awards an annual Netizen Prize in recognition to an Internet user, blogger, cyber-dissident, or group who has helped to promote freedom of expression on the Internet.[19][20][21] The organization uses the term when describing the political repression of cyber-dissidents such as legal consequences of blogging in politically repressive environments.

See also[]

  • Digital citizen – citizens (of the physical space) using the Internet as a tool in order to engage in society, politics, and government participation[22]
  • Internaut – operators or technically highly capable users of the Internet[23][24]
  • Netiquette – social conventions for online communities
  • Cyberspace – the new societal territory that is inhabited by Netizens
  • Active citizenship – the concept that citizens have certain roles and responsibilities to society and the environment and should actively participate
  • Internet pioneer – those who helped erect the theoretical and technological foundation of the Internet (instead of improving its content, utility or political aspects)
  • Participatory culture – a culture in which the public does not act merely as consumers and voters, but also as contributors, producers and active participants


  1. Template:Cite book
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  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Template:Cite web
  5. netizen,
  6. The Net and Netizens by Michael Hauben, Columbia University.
  7. What is netizen? definition
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  9. Template:Cite web
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  11. Template:Cite web
  12. Template:Cite web
  13. Template:Cite web
  14. Template:Cite web
  15. Template:Cite web
  16. Brian Fung, "'Netizen': Why Is This Goofy-Sounding Word So Important in China?", The Atlantic, 11 October 2012
  17. Matt Schiavenza, "Enough with the word "Netizen"", The Atlantic, 25 September 2013
  18. Template:Cite journal
  19. Template:Cite web
  20. Template:Cite web
  21. Template:Cite web
  22. Mossberger, Karen. "Digital Citizenship - The Internet, Society and Participation" By Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, and Ramona S. McNeal." 23 Nov. 2011. ISBN 978-0819456069
  23. A Brief History of the Internet from the Internet Society
  24. Template:Cite web

Further reading[]

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External links[]