When I wrote my Call for a Blogging Code of Conduct last week, I suggested some ideas of what such a code might contain, but didn’t actually put forth a draft that people could subscribe to. We’re not quite there yet, but we have a plan.
We’ve drafted a code of conduct that will eventually be posted on bloggingcode.org, and created a badge that sites can display if they want to link to that code of conduct.
But because we want a period of review, we don’t want to finalize that code yet. I’ve put a draft below (and you’ll see it’s based closely on the BlogHer Community Guidelines that I linked to last week.) But we’re also working with wikia to put the draft through a wiki-based review process on blogging.wikia.com. (There’s an easy to remember shortcut link at http://blogging.wikia.com/wiki/BCC) Please feel free to join in and edit the wiki as well as encouraging others to do so. We’ll post the final version on bloggingcode.org, along with the html to display the badge and link to the code.
(While wikis are great for developing the code, we don’t want it to be a moving target once people have signed up for it.)
Here’s the first draft:
We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation. But frankness does not have to mean lack of civility. We present this Blogger Code of Conduct in hopes that it helps create a culture that encourages both personal expression and constructive conversation.
1. We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.
We are committed to the “Civility Enforced” standard: we will not post unacceptable content, and we’ll delete comments that contain it.
We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that:
- is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
- is libelous, knowingly false, ad-hominem, or misrepresents another person,
- infringes upon a copyright or trademark
- violates an obligation of confidentiality
- violates the privacy of others
We define and determine what is “unacceptable content” on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to this list. If we delete a comment or link, we will say so and explain why. [We reserve the right to change these standards at any time with no notice.]
2. We won’t say anything online that we wouldn’t say in person.
3. We connect privately before we respond publicly.
When we encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in the blogosphere, we make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved–or find an intermediary who can do so–before we publish any posts or comments about the issue.
4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.
When someone who is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive, we’ll tell them so (privately, if possible–see above) and ask them to publicly make amends.
If those published comments could be construed as a threat, and the perpetrator doesn’t withdraw them and apologize, we will cooperate with law enforcement to protect the target of the threat.
5. We do not allow anonymous comments.
We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.
6. We ignore the trolls.
We prefer not to respond to nasty comments about us or our blog, as long as they don’t veer into abuse or libel. We believe that feeding the trolls only encourages them–”Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.” Ignoring public attacks is often the best way to contain them.
We also decided we needed an “anything goes” badge for sites that want to warn possible commenters that they are entering a free-for-all zone. The text to accompany that badge might go something like this:
This is an open, uncensored forum. We are not responsible for the comments of any poster, and when discussions get heated, crude language, insults and other “off color” comments may be encountered. Participate in this site at your own risk.