left biblioblography: The Blogging Code of Conduct Is Out - Whooo, boy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Blogging Code of Conduct Is Out - Whooo, boy!

Due to a lady blogger's death threats (I reported on that here), a gentleman named Tim O'Reilly has his first draft out on the Blogger's Code of Conduct.

So, as usual, it takes the actions of a few eggsuckers to wreck it for everyone else. Here's the badge:

Here's the draft:

We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation. But frankness does not have to mean lack of civility. We present this Blogger Code of Conduct in hopes that it helps create a culture that encourages both personal expression and constructive conversation.

1. We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.

We are committed to the "Civility Enforced" standard: we will not post unacceptable content, and we'll delete comments that contain it.

We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that:
- is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
- is libelous, knowingly false, ad-hominem, or misrepresents another person,
- infringes upon a copyright or trademark
- violates an obligation of confidentiality
- violates the privacy of others

We define and determine what is "unacceptable content" on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to this list. If we delete a comment or link, we will say so and explain why. [We reserve the right to change these standards at any time with no notice.]

2. We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person.

3. We connect privately before we respond publicly.

When we encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in the blogosphere, we make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved--or find an intermediary who can do so--before we publish any posts or comments about the issue.

4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

When someone who is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive, we'll tell them so (privately, if possible--see above) and ask them to publicly make amends.
If those published comments could be construed as a threat, and the perpetrator doesn't withdraw them and apologize, we will cooperate with law enforcement to protect the target of the threat.

5. We do not allow anonymous comments.

We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.

6. We ignore the trolls.

We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don't veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them--"Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it." Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them.

I doubt that I'll adhere to much of it.

#1 - I'm big on taking responsibility, but I can't really 'control' commenters. Presently, I'm moderating (again), since some mentally defective yahoo decides to drop by sporadically and make asinine commentary (poo-poo pee-pee, I said boobie! I can hear Beavis 'n Butthead sniggering in the background), but I intend to turn it back off at some date in time (hopefully, my 'nemesis' will have passed puberty by then). Hmmm...I'll have to think on that.

#2 - Yes, I'm big on that. You betcha, I'd not say it online without saying it face-to-face.

#3 - See, I don't get an email address on 'other' or anonymous, so that's out.

#4 - That depends. Most of my readers are pretty capable of defending themselves.

#5 - This is sounding better as I think about it.

#6 - Nuh-uh. I actually enjoy wrestling in the mud with trolls (I fancy that most of them cry 'uncle' by the time I'm done with them, but they rarely bother me here).

So, any thoughts?

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beepbeepitsme said...

I have my own ideas about this which I decided I would adher to. If, or when, someone threatens physical violence to a person on my blog, their comment will be deleted. And further comments which look suspiciously like they came from the same source, will also be deleted.

There is a difference between telling someone to "get stuffed" and threatening them with physical violence.

People basically want to be able to express their opinion on issues. Under these circumstances we are going to disagree with each other often. I accept disagreement.

I won't accept threats of physical violence whether directed to me, or to people who post at my blog. This includes everyone,even the people I might disagree with on numerous occasions should not be threatened by nutjobs.

Sadie Lou said...

It just sucks that people haven't ever moved past the playground. How hard is it to be a responsible, mature adult online? It's almost as if the mere guise of being allowed to post comments anonymously lends it's self to bringing out the inner idiot in some people.
Now we have to act like a yard duty teacher--blowing the whistle on some kid that can't control themselves. I won't do it. If some crack head comes to my blog to throw sand in everyone's face--they're booted off the playground and they can't come back. I'm not going to give an explaination. They don't deserve the decency of an explaination.

Stardust said...

We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.

This is very true. I wish to maintain a certain level of civility on my personal blogs. I simply delete hateful trolls and I agree with sadie lou, I am not going to give an explanation. I am not obligated to explain myself to those who know exactly why they are being deleted. We can all agree to disagree, and debate, but I will no longer take the flame bait and never have allowed my blog to be "polluted" with nonsense and hateful threats.

I do not allow anonymous comments on my personal blogs.

At GifS, however, since we have such a large readership there, the trolls were getting to be out of control and the moderation queue was jammed. We mods were too busy trying to write rebuttals to those who did not deserve any attenion at all. It seemed they actually liked being "asshatted" and told off...trolls making a sport of it and it was ridiculous. Now, to make our lives a lot easier, we have come up with a standard copy and paste response to trolls...we simply replace any threatening or proseltyzing comments with a standard copy and paste message. It has curbed the troll problem tremendously.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Well, it's especially difficult on Blogger to ban I.P addresses. The tools I use are all freebies, which don't lend themselves to that usage. I try to maintain some civility here too - however spirited the discussion gets. I rarely get trolls.
This last twit was approx. 12 years old.

Sadie Lou said...

I heard WordPress allows some way to bad I.P adresses. I have site tracker and I can see when certain people are trolling but I can't stop them from commenting unless I do comment moderation which I'm not going to do unless I'll be away from my blog for awhile.
KA--nemesis is 12?

Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie - I'd heard WP does do that, but am not that up on WordPress. I have site tracker too, so I can spy on 'em.
I don't know if nemesis is 12. He sure talks like it.

Zac Hunter said...

Some of this stuff seems a little too ambitious, like deleting all ad hominems. I mean, I love pointing those out, but it is such a common rhetorical tactic, that I imagine just the policing of that fallacy alone would crash servers.

"2. We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person."

I have to disagree with KA on this one. This one is borderline censorship. There is a certain boldness that comes with text. Would Nietzsche or Voltaire have said many of the things they did in public? I highly doubt it. Thats why they say the pen is mightier than the sword.

Many people simply lack the confidence or cojones to say what they feel, or worse, what is right, in public. True, the empowerment of blogging is certainly a double edged sword, I don't like vitriolic 13 year old trolls either, but I think of it as a necessary evil of 'free text'.

"6. We ignore the trolls."

That is so vague its almost a dead meme now. Think of the factors: Who is defining troll? In my opinion, a lot of posters are mislabeled trolls, even if we hate them. Yes, I am referring to Phreedm on the NGB. While I can't stand most of his comments, and his continual **Off Topic** crap is borderline troll behavior, he is often just the other side of the polemic.

I do agree with you here KA, wrestling with the trolls is generally pretty fun, if a touch redundant. Personally I tend to think of them more as 'trawlers' or as trawling the web to incite arguments and just drop offensive bombs. (I wonder if there is an etymological link there...)

I just hate having to rehearse the same arguments whenever a new troll comes along spouting the same tired rhetoric questions. Like how many times do we really need to field the question: How can you have ethics without God? Even still, is this person a troll or generally interested?

P.S. [Wow, I took an oxycodone today for a stress fracture, I apologize for any disjointed rambling guys and gals.]

Krystalline Apostate said...

zac - well, I practice #2 as much as is possible. Of course, I don't get out much anyways, so it's a moot point.
Eee - get better soon. I've always loathed painkillers (it has to be disabling before I take anything like that).

BEAJ said...

As long as Rickey is alive, anything doesn't go.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BEAJ - you think maybe nemesis is rickey, that incorrigible dancing flamingo?

ted said...

A bit ambitious, as most have said. I'm with Beep though. I set myself a standard when I started and have managed to stick to it so far.

I won't allow personal abuse and I definitely won't tolerate threats of any kind. It's a medium of words so I have to agree that saying anything you wouldn't say to someone's face is definitely bad form.

Other than that, well as you point out KA, the trolls can be fun sometimes and deleting all the ad-hominems could be a tad tedious.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Thanks for dropping in, Ted. I'd drop by your blog more often - but between the black background/white lettering & question marks instead of apostrophes, I find it a little hard on the eyes.