This post is about an author and a conference presenter who was quoted in a BBC article and a San Francisco Chronicle article calling for a code of conduct in the blogosphere in response to the online firestorm arisen as a results of the death threats against a popular tech blogger (Kathy Sierra) which was about free speech, civility and sexism. Tim O’Reilly published the post “Blogger’s Code of Conduct”. Then he published another two posts “Draft Blogger’s Code of Conduct” and “ Code of Conduct: Lessons Learned so far”.
- Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog. This is his response to Katy ‘s post.
- Label you tolerance level for abusive comments. Kaylea Hascall a suggested something like the Creative Commons badges that sites employ to label the re-use rights provided for their content.
- Considerer eliminating anonymous comments.
- Ignore the trolls.
- Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
- If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
- Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
In the second post, his conference decided to drafted a code of conduct that is posted here, and created a badge that sites can display if they want to link to that code of conduct. They also worked with wikia to put the draft through a wiki-based review process on blogging.wikia.com.
They included the following drafts:
- Take responsibility for their own words and for the comments they allow on the blog.
- Don’t say anything online that is not say in person.
- Connect privately before respond publicly.
- Take action when someone is unfairly attacking another.
- Don’t allow anonymous comments.
- Ignore the trolls. It is the best way to content the public attacks.
- He proposed The poor choice of the “badges”. Here is the simply idea for a shorthand mechanism akin to that provided by Creative Commons for sites to state their copyright polices. Tim said that Jeff Jarvis put in his entry two text badges rather than graphics. There’re two link entitled: Rules of Engagement and About me/ Disclosures.Tim proposed a system that would make it easier for sites such as Yahoo Answers Community Guidelines to state their polices without having to write their own.
- The need for a more modular code of conduct. You can propose your own list of modular axioms that a site might want to assert about it policies. If you want, go to the discussion page for the draft code of conduct over at this web page.
- A suggestion of some moderation mechanism that are better than policy. Slashdot’s moderation system may also be a good model.
- A discussion of constructive anonymity vs. “drive by anonymity”. You can see here the article that Jaron Lanier wrote for Discover Magazine.
- An acknowledgement that a “code of conduct ” should be reviewed by awyers.
- Civility matters, despite all the nay-sayers. Tim O’Relly mentioned Colin Rules post of The role of manners in a divided society.
Here is an interesting video of O’Reilly Media that spreads the knowledge of technology innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences.
- Call for a Blogger’s Code of Conduct, by Tim O’Reilly: http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/03/call-for-a-bloggers-code-of-co.html
- Draft Blogger’s Code of Conduct, by Tim O’Reilly: http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/04/draft-bloggers-code-of-conduct.html
- Code of Conduct: Lessons Learned So Far, by Tim O’Reilly: http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/04/code-of-conduct-lessons-learne.html
- ETech conference: http://en.oreilly.com/et2009/public/content/home
- O’Reilly video: http://www.youtube.com/user/oreillymedia?feature=results_main
- BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6502643.stm
- San Francisco Chronicle article: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Bad-behavior-in-the-blogosphere-Vitriolic-2567949.php
- Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/about
- Jeff’s entry: No twinkie badges here http://buzzmachine.com/2007/04/09/no-twinkie-badges-here/
- Colin Rule’s post: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blogs/rule/archives/003592.shtml