How’s that for civility in the blogosphere?
Let me start with a few people who I consider smarter than me and what they have to say about Tim-O’s code of conduct for bloggers. First, my favorite video blogger, Loren Feldman:
Not wanting to leave him on his own, let me share some Mike Arrington:
Iâ€™m not turning off anonymous comments, Iâ€™m not going to always try to talk privately with someone before i write, and Iâ€™m also not going to allow a mob to decide what types of words constitute â€œunacceptable content.â€ And Iâ€™m certainly not putting a badge on my site that says whether I comply or not.
The code of conduct and the mass of bloggers lining up behind it scares me a lot more than the hate comments and death threats Iâ€™ve received in the past. I wonâ€™t support it.
Maybe this means I wonâ€™t be invited back to Foo camp this year. Maybe it means the bloggers who think this is a good thing wonâ€™t link back to our blogs. Maybe Iâ€™ll just get a bunch of hate comments from the civility crowd. But Iâ€™m not going to do something just because Iâ€™m scared about what will happen if I donâ€™t.
We also have Jeff Jarvis, Jeff Jarvis:
They also want to eliminate anonymous comments. The latest code â€” an escalation of the earlier version, I should add â€” decrees: â€œWe do not allow anonymous comments.â€
My own stand on anonymity, stated frequently in this space, is that I will not give full respect and credence to things said by people who do not have the balls to stand behind their words. When people complain that Iâ€™m trying to get rid of the anonymous nature of the web, I say no, I wouldnâ€™t do that. Iâ€™m simply telling you the way I judge your words when youâ€™re too chicken to put your name on them.
Whatâ€™s worse is the ignorance displayed by the latest code authors who define verification of identity this way: â€œWe 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.â€ Well, that gets us nowhere. I can go to Yahoo and get an email account with a bogus name in 60 seconds. That verifies nothing except that I have no life and have the time to do that.
And finally, Jason Calacanis:
@@#$@#$%#$% the @#$%@#$%#$ code of @#$%#$% conduct!!!!
The whole point of blogging is that it is free form, take no prisoners, and NOT constrained. Does that mean people should attack people and their ideas? Well, ummm…. if the idea is going to war under false pretense…ummm… YES!!! If the idea is to do covert marketing like PayPerPost… ummm… yeah!!! Blogs are about fighting for what you believe in!! That’s the point.
Tim is a laid back dude, and that style works well for him… great. Good for Tim. However, some of us like to mix it up and debate in a bare-fisted style. That type of debate might not be for everyone, but boy does it lead to great debates and good times.
Let’s face reality for a minute. Tim O’Reilly is trying to do the one thing that’s the polar antithesis of everything the blogosphere stands for.
The point of the blogosphere is that it’s decentralized commentary from individuals that’s not backed by some controlling entity. Period. That means you’re gonna see and hear shit that’s gonna make you uncomfortable. It’s just the way it is. If you look at the points, it amounts to nothing more than touchy feely bullshit that means nothing to anyone. I’m not going to recap the whole thing, but here it is if you want to read it.
Here’s my code of conduct in one paragraph, only it’s not for bloggers; it’s for readers.
Understand that blogging is an open medium and you’re going to need to have a thick skin. Don’t disclose your name if you don’t want other people to know it. Don’t disclose your job if you don’t want phone calls there. Don’t expect people to protect you. Don’t expect people to protect your feelings. If something bothers you, be an adult and leave. You do not have a right to not be offended, and no one cares if you are.
Any code of conduct around blogging should start there.
Tim O’Reilly is an asshole.
[tags]tim o’reilly, jason calacanis, mike arrington, jeff jarvis, loren feldman[/tags]