Code of Conduct for the bloggers

Amarnath Prabhakar January 28, 2009 0

There has been a certain interest in the online communities to create a code of conduct for bloggers. This idea for the code was to provide a guide to bloggers to ensure there isn’t anything that could land them into trouble.

This code was called for by Tim O’Reilly and called for the fellow bloggers to come together to draft a code of conduct for bloggers. This was taken as a cue and Jimmy Wales of the blogging wikia came up with the draft and published it too. Although this code is published, Jimmy wales still stresses that this code is just a starting point for discussion. There would be several additions, deletions and editing.

The code of conduct is as below and you can feel free to suggest any changes here – Blogging code of conduct.

The Blogger’s Code  of Conduct

“We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation. But frankness does not have to mean lack of civility. We present this Blogger Code of Conduct in hopes that it helps create a culture that encourages both personal expression and constructive conversation. One can disagree without being disagreeable.

1. We take responsibility for our own words and reserve the right to restrict comments on our blog that do not conform to basic civility standards.

We are committed to the “Civility Enforced” standard: we strive to post high quality, acceptable content, and we will delete unacceptable comments.

We define unacceptable comments as anything included or linked to that:

* is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
* is libelous or knowingly false
* infringes upon any copyright, trademark, trade secret or patent of any third party. (If you quote or excerpt someone’s content, it is your responsibility to provide proper attribution to the original author. For a clear definition of proper attribution and fair use, please see The Electronic Frontier Foundation’sLegal Guide for Bloggers.)
* violates an obligation of confidentiality
* violates the privacy of others

We define and determine what is “unacceptable content” on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to this list. If we delete a comment or link, we will say so and explain why. [We reserve the right to change these standards at any time with no notice.]

2. We won’t say anything online that we wouldn’t say in person.

Unless we are trying to protect a confidential source, in which case, we may omit certain private details or otherwise obfuscate the soucre of the information.

Unless in real life you would face physical intimidation, whereas online you could avoid it.

3. If tensions escalate, we will connect privately before we respond publicly.

When we encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in the blogosphere, we make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved–or find an intermediary who can do so–before we publish any posts or comments about the issue. Bloggers are encouraged to engage in online mediation of unresolved disputes. will provide mediators.

4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

When someone who is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive, we’ll tell them so (privately, if possible) and ask them to publicly make amends. If those published comments could be construed as a threat, and the perpetrator doesn’t withdraw them and apologize, we will cooperate with law enforcement to protect the target of the threat.

5. We do not allow anonymous comments.

We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.

6. We ignore the trolls.

We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don’t veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them — “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. (George Bernard Shaw)” Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them.

7. We encourage blog hosts to enforce more vigorously their terms of service.

When bloggers engage in such flagrantly abusive behavior as creating impersonating sites to harass other bloggers they should take responsibility for their clients’ behavior.”

There we go, the code of conduct in full for the benefit of the bloggers. Let’s ensure to follow the code to make the internet a better place.

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