I see because of this Kathy Sierra hoopla people are talking about blocking annoymous comments on blogs, shutting down their blogs for a week and also some people want a blogger code of conduct. Defamation, libel and assault laws work and work well. If someone defames you, sue them, if they libel you, sue them, if they threaten you, ring the police and let them handle it. Remember, a death threat or a threat which makes you think you will be harmed, is assault. Use existing laws. If a blogger attacks you on their blog, then don’t link to them and have everyone else remove their links to them. Ignoring is best in the blogging world. Don’t feed the trolls. If you think the threats are serious then call the police. If you feel defamed, call a lawyer.
When I see companies starting up codes of conduct I think ISO certification, I think of these astroturfing “plan english” campaigns which charge organisations A LOT to write better documents. What happened to Kathy Sierra was horrible but this hysteria does nobody any good and it is sickening to see business people pitch their products at such a moment.
Follow netiquette, follow good manners, be civil, or don’t. I really hope that something like this doesn’t spawn some elitist bully-boy standards or code body that does nothing more than charge an admin fee and bully people into signing up. That’s what unions are for. Freedom of speech should not be cut back on because of a few assholes. Why on earth do we need to impose guidelines on ourselves online when we don’t need to offline? A blogging community won’t tolerate people like those that attacked Kathy and will de-link from them and will just shun them and then don’t need a checklist to do so.
If you want to sign up to a code of conduct and cut off your own balls, work away, but why not just sign up to the press council instead?