Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and software development
Most of Tim O'Reilly's proposed blogger's code of ethics is common sense stuff, but some of it seems to conflict with the informal, conversational and public nature of blogs. It's flawed and besides that, it's unnecessary.
It's not always important to "connect privately before we respond publicly" to "misrepresentations or conflicts" as the code states. Blogging is supposed to be a public conversation, not a bunch of back-channel emails and phone calls. If you think somebody misspoke you might want to check with them before you totally lay into them, but you can do that gently on your blog e.g. "I was reading Bob's post and wondering if he really meant to say 'all foo is bar' because that just doesn't seem right."
It's not necessary for every blogger to take action "when we believe someone is unfairly attacking another;" especially if others are already responding well and being heard. It's OK to lurk.
And I definitely do not believe that anonymous comments should be banned. So I'm glad to see that O'Reilly now says (in the comments to his own post) that part should be optional.
For me the bottom line is that bloggers should follow the same rules as everybody else. We don't need special blogger's code of ethics, a sheriff badge or the blog police. The fundamental things apply: common sense, decency and the laws of the land.
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