Most of you would think the reason for me discussing this is because of the question of the NSTP Sdn. Bhd. vs Jeff Ooi/Ahirudin Attan case [read Bloggers Sued: A chronology of events]. For those of you who aren't in the Bloggers United movement (or have not been keeping up-to-date with the progress of the case), the link leads to Research on Malaysian Bloggers. ...will the proposed Bloggers' Code of Conduct build a free, regulated blogging environment, or impose a totalitarian iron rule of law?...
Well, that's partly the reason why. But the main issue in that debate was, "Are bloggers liable for slanderous/defamatory comments posted by readers on their blog?"
Here I'll talk about a new issue that's cropped up in the international blogosphere (that's right, folks, we're taking the war out of the country), starting with the Kathy Sierra incidents [read Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech"].
Now the issue at hand has shifted (though not really in Malaysia) to the conduct of bloggers/commenters online. To think that people would go out of their way to shut someone up online by posting death threats against her (and it isn't just all talk - there were a few 'disturbing' pictures) is horrifying.
Hence, to counter these anonymous users abusing the freedom of the Internet, people are already uniting in a concerted effort to draft a workable and acceptable Bloggers' Code of Conduct. One such draft can be found at this link (complete with badges for people who obey the code or choose not to follow it): [read Draft Bloggers' Code of Conduct]
However, the blogosphere has not united behind this movement completely. There are some bloggers [read Segala: Do we want a code for blogs?] who say that it's up to the blogger to choose whether to adhere to the code (if an official one does come into existence). There are also those who are completely against it [read Blogger Code of Conduct? Two words - Fuck off].
Whatever the support (or resistance) to the Code of Conduct [read robhyndman.com: Blogging Code of Conduct, Redux], there are some things that are interestingly noted by commenters on the Draft Bloggers' Code of Conduct. Among them:
2. We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person.
If blogging is international, then I would disagree with this point.
In the authoritarion and cruel regimes, if one wants to get himself hanged, only then he would in person criticize the regime. Blogging is the great and unique way of protest for the oppressed people against such regimes.
What a load of bull. People should be civil to each other without it having to be 'enforced'. Who is going to enforce this code of conduct? You'll be wanting a regulatory body next, and all bloggers and commenters to register, carry cards or wear badges. The internet is free, and should stay that way. There are ways to trace even an anonymous commenter's IP these days.
Some like the idea, though:
Interesting idea. A lot of the points in this draft could apply to web sites in general, not just blogs. Especially forums.
I like the idea, but I agree with other commenters about the fact that many bloggers would want to customize the code to their specific site and ideals. Maybe the code could be something like Creative Commons licenses where there are different levels to choose from.
It will be interesting to see where the debate goes from here. Is the Code threatening the democracy and freedom of the Internet? Is it actually helping to build a better, global online community that contributes proactively and maturely? Or is this the end of blogging as we know it? Whatever happens, ultimately RANDTS will be affected in its own little way as well.
~verus rara avis~
...will the proposed Bloggers' Code of Conduct build a free, regulated blogging environment, or impose a totalitarian iron rule of law?...