Tobsy’s Code of Conduct for Bloggers

On April 8th, Tim O’Reilly presented his first draft of a “Code of Conduct” for bloggers. It’s made of 9 modules, that should help to keep the blogosphere civil.

But do we really need something like that? What’s the sense of that?

These are the 9 modules of the first draft:

1. Responsibility for our own words

Yes, I am responsible for my words and strive to post high quality content. I don’t need a CoC to remember that, but neither would I have a problem with it. What i do have a problem with is this part: “and we will delete unacceptable comments”. I have never deleted a comment, except for obvious spam. Should someone ever write a comment on my blog, that is clearly illegal, i will delete it. And that’s it. When I don’t like a comment, I can always reply to it, to state my opinion.

2. Nothing we wouldn’t say in person

I am a shy guy. I wouldn’t talk to most people in person. If I’d apply this rule to my blog, it would be pretty empty.

3. Connect privately first

I’ve never had a problem with solving conflicts in private so far. This sounds reasonable.

4. Take action against attacks

See #1. My action of choice against a legal comment that I don’t agree with, is a reply. Comments that are against the law are a different matter.

5. a) No anonymous comments OR b) No pseudonymous comments

To leave a comment on you have to supply an email address. Is it legit? I don’t care. Anonymity is not an indicator for bad intentions.

6. Ignore the trolls

Okay, this should not even be a rule, but common sense. Trollfeeding is a waste of energy.

7. Encourage enforcement of terms of service

Again, see #1. Your words are your responsibility. The comments on your site are too.

8. Keep our sources private


9. Discretion to delete comments

Uhm, why’s that even a module?

Since the beginning of the blogosphere blogging was all about free speech. You write whatever you want. No publishing house, no network, no agency – YOU decide what you publish.

No topic is too small. You don’t have to please advertisers or shareholders. Your blog can be about whatever topic you choose. That’s what made a lot of unorthodox websites possible and popular.

But nowadays there is a lot of money to be made. Some people make a 5-figure income every month from their blogs.

And as always when money is involved, there is a tendency to be advertiser friendly, noncontroversial and appealing to everybody.

I’ not going to follow these “rules”.

I’ve already developed my own dynamically generated code of conduct. It’s based on my ideas, my ideals and good old common sense. And it’s always changing. No sense in writing it down.