Code of Misconduct

Okay, so I have followed at great distance the story about a blogging code of conduct. If you’re not up to speed, here’s the short version. Somebody made vile comments and threats against some tech blogger. She canceled a public appearance and the whole thing gained some traction. MSM news appearance, much blog posting, fluttering of hands, general attack of the vapors. Now some people are pushing a code of conduct that says something akin to “Don’t be mean”. I dunno, I didn’t get that far.

A longer and more detailed discussion about the proposed code is here. My comment consists of two related issues. One, the code is voluntary. Don’t like it? Don’t sign up, don’t adhere, and blog along your merry way. Two, adhering to the code puts a blogger at a disadvantage in the information universe. Adherence to the code means not linking to blogs that don’t adhere. Blogs that don’t sign on can link to anyone they choose. Anybody but me think that might not be the smartest idea ever? Artificially limiting the range of permissible commentary seems like it would incur a competitive disadvantage. If I have a choice between someone who doesn't limit the range of issues and items they address and someone who will limit the range of commentary in an attempt to comply with someone else's idea of civility, I know where I'm going.

Of course, I’m not on board because giving up unprovoked and gratuitous ad hominem posts about politicians, public figures, and anyone else who earns my ire just isn’t happening. Well, that plus the fact the whole thing strikes me as a 21st century version of a loyalty oath.

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