The whole blogging code of conduct thing.
Posted on Apr 10, 2007
So awhile back, a little before etech, Kathy Sierra was attacked by some Internet hoodlums who used hatespeech and made Kathy Sierra feel threatened. She decided not to go to etech and instead posted a blog entry about how she was scared of life and didn’t feel like going outside. I think her blog entry was good. It basically started a tidal wave of discussion about being mean and hateful on the Internet.
From this whole situation a blogger code of conduct was created by Tim O’Reilly. I hate codes of conduct. It seems to me that the coolest part of the Internet is that there are no rules. There is only personal accountability and often with anonymous comments and anonymous forums there is barely even that.
When I was a child, my parents taught my brother and I to treat everyone with common decency. It pretty much broke down to the golden rule. It set us up to think a bit about what we were saying before we did it. This basic tenet of humanism was rooted in Vonnegut and Heller. We just basically did whatever we needed to do, as long as we followed that rule.
The cool thing was that when we strayed into the territory of not treating people decent, our communities helped us get back on track. They talked to us, they yelled at us and they told us where we were wrong. This was the case when we were bullies, when we were bullied and when we were just helping people.
We didn’t need a code of conduct to grow up. And I don’t think that we as blogger’s need one now.
The whole meankids thing was a playground tactic. A group of weaker people picking on someone who had a stronger or more successful identity. This will always occur. However, it seemed like it was pretty quickly dismantled by the community. Call it a mob, or call it whatever you want. It solved itself.
I guess what I am saying is that before we as a community decide to adopt a huge number of rules and badges, lets first just decide to treat people decently.