Tim O’Reilly introduced the Blogger’s Code of Conduct as a means to help enforce civility. Tim’s idea was that if bloggers themselves were civil on their own blog, it would encourage others to be civil as well. He also suggested bloggers moderate comments on their blog.
So why was the Blogger’s Code introduced in the first place? The code was proposed due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra. In March 2007, Sierra abruptly canceled her appearance at the O’Reilly ETech conference in San Diego because she began receiving threatening blog posts and emails, which included death threats. Ms. Sierra cancelled all speaking engagements due to fear.
The harassment increased after the threats were reported in the news: a false account of her career was posted online, along with her address and Social Security number.
The BBC was the first to report the idea of the code. They quoted O’Reilly saying, “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behavior, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation.”
O’Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:
- Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
- Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
- Consider 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 him or her so.
- Do not say anything online that you would not say in person.
This article is not meant to scare you at all. The sole purpose is to cause you to think carefully, act responsibly, and encourage safe blogging practices…Do Unto Others!
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