Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A kinder, Gentler Internet? For Whom and Why?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:16 PM Permalink

From an article in the NYT, "A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs":
Is it too late to bring civility to the Web?…The conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere can be a prickly and unpleasant place. Now, a few high-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.…Last week, Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate.…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.
I got your "code of ethics" right here:

Be the antithesis of the MSM. Be highly suspicious of people who want to write a "code of ethics" for you, which is basically a way of limiting your options to speak freely. Don't allow specious rules formulated for the purpose of limiting debate, limit the debate. Speak as you wish, say what you want and say it in the manner of your choice. Ignore false pleas for "civility" that are themselves just calls for censorship from the "elite" who revile the internet for its capability to allow the free-flow of information sans editorial staffs that may be biased beyond belief. (Like the NYT, WaPo, WaPost, Atlantic Journal, the WSJ, etc)

Endeavor to tell the truth from your perspective, even if that may not jibe with another's perspective. If you inadvertently "misspeak" plead the Reagan/McCain defense. Try to source any really wild claims or, if you write from memory of what has been in the public domain, do your best to be correct. If you're citing a rumor, so state. If it is pure speculation and suppositions about which you write remember that your opinion is just as valid as that of anyone else.

Don't allow anyone, for any reason real or imagined, known or unknown to man, censor your words. If someone is offended, tell them to avert their eyes, grow up, get over it and go elsewhere. Very few people today aren't familiar with the full gamut of spoken/written obscenities and their objections to it are made in an effort to discredit the writer by discrediting the language. Don't fall for it.

In other words: Let's all keep on doing what we've been doing without regard for the sensitivities of those who would limit our right to free speech.

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At 6:55 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

My first thought when I heard yet another call for iNet civility was should bloggers be held to a higher standard than glenn beck, imus, coulter, malkin, lameballs, o'lielly ... etc?


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