Now begins the usual back-tracking. “What I actually meant was…” “I think you got me wrong there, I wasn’t saying” “No, what I was saying is different.” Abort, Retry, Fail.
So who doesn’t like the code of conduct idea? Here are just a few from my own feed reader:
I can personally promise that I will never subscribe to a site or will unsubscribe to one that has this crap displayed.
Whatever happened to freedom of speech. If I donâ€™t like you I will let you know and I totally subscribe to Shel Israelâ€™s living room policy rather than this police state bull.
I am on the side of anarchy in this. It comes down to the individual how they run their domain. So long as it is legal I donâ€™t want interference from any party. It is the readership that decides what they read.
While we’re at it, how about an ombudsman, required ethics courses at J-school, and regulation by the FCC? Because that’s worked so well for America’s breathtakingly turgid daily newspapers, and bland network news
I suppose if it makes some people feel better about their lives, then that’s a good thing. Whatever.
And whenever someone, no matter how much I respect them, tries to tell me what I can and cannot do by defining â€œcivilityâ€? around their own ideals, I tense up. It feels like a big angry mob is arming itself to the teeth and looking for targets, and I need to choose whether Iâ€™m with them or against them.
This effort misses the point of the internet, blogs, and even of civilized behavior. They treat the blogosphere as if it were a school library where someone â€” theyâ€™ll do us the favor â€” can maintain order and control.
If you want to reform the blogosphere, here’s where to start. Have a brigade of people whose job it is to put out fires when they start. To defend the people who no one wants to defend. That, imho, would be a very positive first step.
When you take the lyrics of John Lennon, or for that matter even some of the early Bob Dylan, civility is not the word that comes to mind. Theyâ€™re passionate to the point of being irascible.
Blogs are the epitome of free speech. Let’s not take an iota of freedom away from them.
There has to be a mechanism for anonymous comments, even if they need to be approved before being posted. As the EFF says, “anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse”.
Twenty Major (In the comments on O’Reilly’s blog post):
A blogger’s code of conduct is the biggest load of simpering bollocks I’ve ever heard in my life.
Nobody is clear to the exact words from Ben Franklin but this is close enough to what he said:
Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
I like this variation: Those who would sacrifice Internet freedoms for some pieces of silver deserve to be called money grabbing cunts.