Meeting on the ledge

(or why I don't get out much…..)

Blog content warnings?

  Tim O’Reilly has proposed a blogging code of conduct to do something to regulate the ‘blogosphere’ and has immediately created a furore of his own. Along with many others, he noticed that the web is beginning to lack ‘civility’: the lack of physical proximity means that users don’t feel a need to observe the normal, largely unspoken, rules of conduct which regulate everyday society. Hence we get ‘flames’, death threats and comments which many people regard as ‘obscenities’ with no warning. In turn this means we think twice about allowing our children to use the web, and sometimes respond in kind to the ‘trolls’ without realising that we are just encouraging them (difficult I know as I’m guilty of this occasionally).

  Unfortunately people have reacted by interpreting O’Reilly’s suggestion as an attempt to curtail what we can say on the web. I don’t think he is intending this at all: he wants to preserve the freedom of the web by allowing us all to have a say and not be shouted down by the yobs who won’t enter into fair and open debate. I’d agree that some of his suggestions need discussion: a ban on anonymity wouldn’t have been good for Salam Pax for instance. However isn’t this the kind of open discussion he is trying to promote by publishing a draft on his blog and inviting comments? Maybe I’m an idealist but I’ll be following this one……

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April 11, 2007 - Posted by | General

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