Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blogger's Code of Conduct

A few weeks ago, I read this article from Boing Boing on Blogger "code of conduct" trades freedom for politeness. It impressed my that Tim O'Reilly's proposed code of conduct was well meaning in response to Kathy Sierra's situation, but a little overbearing and just too hard to swallow for most folks. The badge is admittedly hokey, but heck, I'm a mom, and that's the rule in my house. Those people who don't want to follow what is mostly common courtesy, should have their moms come and smack them upside the head. I do delete comments especially if they have no bearing on the post, but thankfully have not had to deal with negative or hurtful feedback. These comments range from generic spam to all out rants about who knows what (I stop reading as soon as I see words like Anti-Christ, kill, copulating, etc.)

This story on NPR included an interview with Kathy Sierra, which prompted me to finally post on this topic. There is definitely an issue where people hide behind their anonymity on the internet and feel free to slander others. This happen to a friend of mine on a forum. The comments made about her were totally denigrating and I was shocked. She chose to ignore it (Tim's Rule #6), not empowering those weasels who wrote the comments (I would have gone home and cried). At work, I was involved in a "talent review" session involving my direct report and was surprised what other people said about him behind closed doors. It's not that I never say anything bad about people, but I would prefer to focus on the positive aspects of people. There is a time and place for constructive criticism, but only if it is constructive, and not meant to simply tear someone apart.

I'm glad Web 2.0 is all about bringing people together, but there will always be mean and clueless people. There is no way to make them behave, but it must be made clear that it will not be tolerated.

4/25/07 Update - I do remember this post on 20-way seats where I didn't delete a comment because it was relevant. See, I'm not just a happy-go-lucky everything-is-peachy blogger!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I do disagree with one of his codes. I always post anonymously and see no reason to change this. While some people use anonymous as a veil behind which they can act like an a-hole, others see no identify themselves in perpetuity - in a fake or real sense. I consider this security in a world where increasingly the web is used to spy on people - both employers and educational institutions admit to using google to find people. In response to this (pre web your employer had no way of knowing your politics for instance, post web they can look for your postings), and frankly a lack of trust of in people - I post anonymously. I have made several fake email addresses to use - but given the choice - anonymous is it. I never flame anonymously and I never post to one board using both an email address and anonymously based on the nature of the post. I think a better policy would be to either allow anonymous posting - but for those to be filtered by email first.