O’Reilly trademarks “Ethics 2.0″


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Tim O’Reilly issued a Draft Blogger’s Code of Conduct yesterday, in response to the blogging ethics questions raised by death threats and other nastiness in comments at Kathy Sierra’s blog. Excerpts:

  1. We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.
  2. We won’t say anything online that we wouldn’t say in person.
  3. We connect privately before we respond publicly.
  4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.
  5. We do not allow anonymous comments.
  6. We ignore the trolls.

Tim even crafted a badge for your blog. And another one if your motto is “anything goes”.

Naturally, the blogosphere erupted. Bloggers like being told how to run their blogs almost as much as they enjoy DMCA take-down notices. Andy Beal points out flaws in most of the above commandments, especially the parts where the blogger must assume responsibility for content posted by others. Shelley makes a good point about the subterranean communication channels proposed in #3, “If what I write offends, the person offended can tell me so to my face” (i.e. out on the open blog). Seth asks, “who enforces it?” And Valleywagquips:

While we’re at it, how about an ombudsman, required ethics courses at J-school, and regulation by the FCC? Because that’s worked so well for America’s breathtakingly turgid daily newspapers, and bland network news.

To try to craft any code of conduct that applies to all bloggers completely misses one of the most important characteristics of blogging: freedom of individual expression and diversity. So rules of conduct must be left to the individual — but how do we deal with unacceptable content? Kent Newsome’s idea might be a good place to start.

What rules do you impose on yourself and your readers when you blog? Is it “anything goes”, or “play nicely with others”?





12 Responses to O’Reilly trademarks “Ethics 2.0″

  1. I like how O'Reilly thinks he can just come out with a code of conduct for the entire blogosphere, including the completely preposterous and unworkable rule against anonymity, and expects the rest of the world to play along and help out with it. Smooth move, buddy.

    • Somebody needs to inform him of what "The Web" is. He obviously doesn't understand the term at all. But hey, he'll make a ton of money off this sharade and that's what's important.

  2. I like how O’Reilly thinks he can just come out with a code of conduct for the entire blogosphere, including the completely preposterous and unworkable rule against anonymity, and expects the rest of the world to play along and help out with it. Smooth move, buddy.

    • Somebody needs to inform him of what “The Web” is. He obviously doesn’t understand the term at all. But hey, he’ll make a ton of money off this sharade and that’s what’s important.

  3. Yeah, I'd like to see how people would react if I tried to lay down the law for bloggers. Actually, I wouldn't like to see that.

  4. Yeah, I’d like to see how people would react if I tried to lay down the law for bloggers. Actually, I wouldn’t like to see that.

  5. Thankfully I've not had any issues with nastiness on my blog, but should anyone stop by just to be nasty to someone else the comment would be binned and I'd email 'em personally – my bit o'web is not for the use of mudslingers – unless of course it's me slinging the mud *grin* I'll lay claim to bias at home.

    On the other hand – if they wanted to spout anything about me, feel free it can stay up for the world to see.. Makes for a laugh when the regulars wade in ;)

  6. Thankfully I’ve not had any issues with nastiness on my blog, but should anyone stop by just to be nasty to someone else the comment would be binned and I’d email ‘em personally – my bit o’web is not for the use of mudslingers – unless of course it’s me slinging the mud *grin* I’ll lay claim to bias at home.
    On the other hand – if they wanted to spout anything about me, feel free it can stay up for the world to see.. Makes for a laugh when the regulars wade in ;)

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  8. I agree with the statement on anonymous comments. A couple of months ago, an anonymous commenter left extremely vulgar, rude comments all over my blog. I was furious! I believe in the right to express yourself, but if one can't do so without attaching a name, I lose all respect for that person. I no longer accept anonymous comments.

  9. I agree with the statement on anonymous comments. A couple of months ago, an anonymous commenter left extremely vulgar, rude comments all over my blog. I was furious! I believe in the right to express yourself, but if one can’t do so without attaching a name, I lose all respect for that person. I no longer accept anonymous comments.

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