You might remember the reaction when a Director of the Press Complaints Commission suggested a code of conduct for blogging.
But what if the code were to be developed by people who have a proper stake in the live-web rather than by outside regulators?
From a British blogging perspective Tim’s been trying to get us to think about our behaviour as political bloggers (with the sort of aggressive left-field approach that he’s known for) but otherwise things have – as far as my reading goes – gone a bit quite on this front.
But apparently the same sort of questions – anonymity, trolling, abuse – are equally prevalent in the wider ‘sphere. I’d seen Nancy’s take on the developing idea, and now The Guardian have picked up on a draft blogger’s code of conduct that has been put together by Tim O’Reily and Jimmy Wales.
Personally I quite like much of the draft:
- taking responsibility for what we allow on our blogs;
- only saying things we’d be happy to stand up for offline;
- using private channels to question what others are saying before going public;
- challenging behaviour we think unacceptable;
- being wary of anonymity; and
- ignoring the trolls.
Then I live in a very quiet bit of the ‘sphere where we are pretty polite to each other and only a few people don’t provide a proper email address – which I do think is a bit naughty, but hardly a hanging offence.
What I can’t see is that this will be immediately compelling for those who don’t find being polite and considerate the sine qua non of blogging. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try but I suspect that we’re beyond the tipping point and there are enough readers and bloggers who quite like the apparent freedom to slag and bully to make putting that genie back in the bottle quite difficult.