The New York Times yesterday reported on a new discussion among prominent bloggers in A Call For Manners in a World of Nasty Blogs that was spurred by disturbing death threats posted on Kathy Sierra's technology blog:
... Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Wales (creator of Wikipedia) talk about creating several sets of guidelines for conduct and seals of approval represented by logos. For example, anonymous writing might be acceptable in one set; in another, it would be discouraged. Under a third set of guidelines, bloggers would pledge to get a second source for any gossip or breaking news they write about.The Kid Lit corner of the blogosphere needs to weigh in. I like the idea of a self-imposed standard that's made clear by some kind of communally-understood badge on my blog, and even though I don't moderate comments, I have deleted a few nasty anonymous ones here on the Fire Escape. How about you?
Bloggers could then pick a set of principles and post the corresponding badge on their page, to indicate to readers what kind of behavior and dialogue they will engage in and tolerate. The whole system would be voluntary, relying on the community to police itself.
...Some online writers wonder how anyone could persuade even a fraction of the millions of bloggers to embrace one set of standards. Others say that the code smacks of restrictions on free speech ...
Robert Scoble, a popular technology blogger who stopped blogging for a week in solidarity with Kathy Sierra after her ordeal became public, says the proposed rules “make me feel uncomfortable.” He adds, “As a writer, it makes me feel like I live in Iran.”