Posted by Richard Koman - April 9, 2007
Although Tim O'Reilly had published an original draft of a Blogger's Code of Conduct a week ago, today seems to be the day the press jumped on them as a news story. I talked to Tim last week about the Kathy Sierra story and a couple things from that conversation stand out.
Most of these have been criminalized - you know, rape, murder, child abuse. But on the flat screen of a blog, we are dealing with speech, not actions. And there are a few kinds of speech that are illegal (shouting fire in a movie theater) but in general speech is protected. Threatening someone's life, stalking, these sorts of things are not protected but in general, it's no crime to say some pretty awful things.
The remedy for having awful things said about you generally is tort - invasion of privacy, libel/slander, etc. But that's the expensive, painful, lawyer-filled approach. Short of litigation, is there a way to bring some self-restraint to the party? The guidelines are a good, reasonable start:
Jimmy Wales posted the draft on his Wiki and the community edited results are interesting. The one that has garnered the most push-back has been "We discourage anonymous comments." And indeed this goes to the central issue that has plagued Wikipedia, is plaguing the blogosphere and feeds real-world "gang mentality." I'd like to address that in some depth in a future post.
Tweet this story
If urgent: send text or call 415 336 7547
Bacon's names Silicon Valley Watcher one of the
most influential blogs in the US.
SF Publicity Club's ninth annual awards
celebrating excellence in media.