There’s currently a bit of a fuss about the kind of behaviour that goes on on t’internet. And how it’s probably about time that there was some kind of blogging code of conduct. Which, not to put too fine a point on it, I think is bullshit.
For a start, it would be totally unenforceable. How would such a thing be setup; as an addition to the T&C on blogger, perhaps? You know, those T&Cs that are mostly unread and generally ignored? And that’s before you take into account the myriad of other systems available for publishing a blog.
Or perhaps it could be enforced by bloggers themselves. By banning people from comments, and delinking blogs that offend. Getting Google to remove nasty blogs from search results. That sort of thing. Except that this is already what happens, and it doesn’t seem to be working the way that the article would like.
And even if there was a magical technological fix to enforce such a code of conduct, it would still be daft. And probably wrong. One of the most fun things about the ol’ blogs is the way that anyone can have one, and pretty much say anything they like. A Code of Conduct would, right out of the box, change that completely. It’d become a way for employers to punish whistleblowers; for dissent to be stifled, for differing political views to be dropped.
Of course, there are a few limits in place on free speech in blogs, and it’s generally exactly opposite to what the article claims:
“There is an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that it is wrong to delete nasty comments. It suggests that you can’t take criticism but now there is a sense that this is nonsense,” she said.
Most blogs I read would be of the opinion that their blog is their property, and therefore they can (and do) do whatever they want with comments. Such as deleting (or making funny) comments that they dislike. I know I would do that (and have done on, I think, two occasions). But I digress.
One of the things I like about the whole blogging lark is the way it is actually quite similiar to actual society; my favoured comparison being a local pub. Most of the time people get along fine, but when they don’t there isn’t a specific “code of conduct”, there’s just application of existing rules. And it’s worked thus far, so lets just leave it as is.