I firstly have to apologize for my inactiveness the past few weeks, due the Easter holidays and other course obligations. I am now back active to the blogosphere to moot a great debate is held lately.
Tim O’Reilly, the founder of the O’Reilly Media and credit to be the creator of the term Web 2.0 and Jimmy Wales the co-founder and the promoter of Wikipedia created recently a code of principles to shape the online discussion. The whole discussion of creating such thing was driven by the death threats against blogger Kathy Sierra, author of popular blog Create passionate users. The incident raised issues of how women are treated online.
O’Reilly stated at BBC radio live that it could be time to formalize blogging behaviour and added that “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of [legal/government] regulation it would come through self-regulation”.
The “Draft bloggers’ code of conduct” was posted at the O’Reilly’s company blog and is accompanied with a badge that sites can display if they want to link to the code of conduct.
The post received more than 300 comments with contradictory views of the code of conduct and the badge. Many bloggers have opposed to the post as they believed so, that a badge could not itself persuade million of bloggers to follow the same route on how they behave in an area which is supposed to be embracing free speech.
Indeed a code of conduct like this would diminish the free speech, which made blogosphere so popular at the begging. Tim O’Reilly and the supporters of the bloggers code of conduct argue that would empower the civility of the blogosphere users, but in many bloggers point of view the only succeed is the suppression and control of the whole area.
As a woman I totally sympathize and understand the issues raised by Kathy Sierra and similar incidents, but as a blogger I do appreciate the power web gives to speak freely and exchange ideas with no rules and badges to restrict your thoughts. As Robert Cox the president of the Media Bloggers Association stated “I don’t see it as practical in any way and it misses the point in both what is important and what is going to work”