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RANDTS will last a thousand years.

- Albert

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.

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]

...will the proposed Bloggers' Code of Conduct build a free, regulated blogging environment, or impose a totalitarian iron rule of law?...

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 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~

1 mad rant(s):

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  1. Comrade Cripple said...

    Freedom of speech cannot be restricted by written codes of conduct. This freedom is supposed to embody democracy as everybody may voice out their views without fear of censure. Threats that constitute assault (making one fear for his safety) will be taken care of by the long arm of the law. As long as courts are free from outside influence I support libel lawsuits. Hate and bigoted speech is a necessary evil as some people are overly sensitive. Let's allow bloggers to counter them.

    Blogging gives true democracy to the masses. A written code of conduct will severely harm it. Not everyone will agree to a code that is made by a elitist club. Blogs must be left to grow freely. Humans are all good natured inside. The wisdom of the masses is the spirit of democracy. Let true and theoretical democracy live on in cyberspace.

    Long live blogging!!

    ~multum in parvo~

    P.S: In a certain land very close to home corrupt politicians and their running dogs control the courts. Vloggers and bloggers beginning to be stepped on.  


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