A discussion of contemporary issues in media ethics, with olives and a twist. Made with only the freshest ingredients, shaken, stirred and poured over ice. I should also mention that I do like the odd, occasional martini. Bombay Sapphire gin and Lillet, dry and plenty of salty olives. Welcome to this cocktail of journalism and alcohol. A fine combination!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Do bloggers have ethics

For some reason the debate about bloggers' ethics has risen again this week. It's not a new debate, but it's become newsworthy when blogger Tim O'Reilly mentioned it at his O'Reilly Radar site. O'Reilly's suggestion is for bloggers to put one of these two symbols on their page:

There's interesting stuff about anonymity and "feeding the trolls", but in the end, it's the choice of the blogger/host to impose the rules that they are comfortable with.

There's one reasonable code of blogger ethics here at Cyberjournalist.
My view is that I am willing to let people comment here without moderation, though I have some experience in dealing with nasties. I won't allow racist, homophobic or sexist comments, but if you want to have a go at my politics, go ahead.


Unknown said...

I read O'Reilly's suggestions earlier and chuckled a little whilst reading it. It's a little like listening to my mum and her thoughts on the the internet.

In my humble opinion (I haven't drunk enough red wine for it to be my not-so-humble opinion) I think it's a little like pissing in the wind to suggest a set of ethics for blogging.

What I don't get is who he's aiming it at. A lot of trustworthy sites already only allow registered users to comment. And given that you can get a throw away e-mail within seconds of looking on Google, how is it going to stop anyone from making the kind of comments that he's arguing against?

My personal favourite is number three:
We connect privately before we respond publicly.

Is he suggesting that people who disagree with posters and decide to to threaten them should try and speak with them privately before doing so online? Can I have what he's drinking?

And can anyone ever envisage putting a silver sheriff's badge on their web-site?

Damn - I'm trying not to be negative. Hope about some positives - I think the way that an online code of ethics (if it is ever likely to happen) will come through some wiki-like process. The best thing O'Reilly may have done is start the discussion and a wiki. Although he does explicity say "While wikis are great for developing the code, we don't want it to be a moving target once people have signed up for it." I would have thought that any online code of ethics is going to be require to be flexible enough to adapt to the new technology.

But then again - as a student embarking on a second career because he didn't get it right first time, what the hell do I know?

P.S As the first suck-up student to post a comment on your blog do I win free Martini?

Marty said...

Mike, meet me in the Brooklyn and I'll get Irwan to make you a special jug!

Anonymous said...

Is Irwan Indonesian?
Throughout my cyber-life, I've found the most destructive identities online are those who can't contribute to a constructively to a discussion.