My grandfather used to say that the day you can’t look yourself in the eye, you know you have lost your moral compass.
I think his advice applies to blogging – be it writing, reading or commenting – as well. Most people are inherently civil and do the right thing – code of conduct or not.
Look at it this way – we have a constitution in this country and some people circumvent it. We have laws in this country, and there are more people in jails than another nation on the planet. Similarly, a blogger code of conduct is not going to prevent a minority to do their things and muddy the waters. We don’t need a code of conduct – what we need is mutual respect.
I’m not turning off anonymous comments, I’m not going to always try to talk privately with someone before i write, and I’m also not going to allow a mob to decide what types of words constitute “unacceptable content.” And I’m certainly not putting a badge on my site that says whether I comply or not.
Jeff Jarvis is spot on when he says
So O’Reilly only set us up to be called nasty, unmannered, and thus uncivilized hooligans. Except for Tim, of course. He’s the nice one. Me, I feel like the goth kid with premature tattoos skulking down the hall.
Tristan Louis has an indepth analysis of this code of conduct proposed by Tim. Read this sobering analysis before everything else. To me this bit sealed the deal.
Looking back at the creation of the United States and the institution of the Federalist papers, civility has generally been seen as the enemy of openness. The discourse between the US founding fathers was far from civil ….