Out of the Forest


warnings
April 12, 2007, 6:09 pm
Filed under: beliefs

A followup on my post from a few weeks ago. In response to the threats posted on Kathy Sierra’s blog, computer guru Tim O’Reilly has written up a draft “code of conduct” for blogging. The New York Times, no less, published an article about it:

Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship.

The first rule in the conduct code is that bloggers assume responsibility for the content of their blog, including what is said in the comments section. Am I the only one who finds that concept rather scary, just from a possible legal standpoint?

I do believe that people should be repectful on blogs, just as they should be in other aspects of life, and that maintaining whatever level of civility the blogger chooses should not be seen as an automatic attack on free speech. But I think the way blog content is monitored should be up to the personal blogger.

Though the draft of the code of conduct has some good guidelines, the notion that bloggers should be expected to follow them is too restrictive, unnecessary, and runs counter to the non-homogenic nature of the Internet. Most competent bloggers follow similar guidelines anyway. And call me cynical, but I don’t think adding “badges” to your site will solve civility problems on blogs.

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3 Comments so far
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