Following hot on the heels of Oliver Kamm’s criticism of blogging and democracy (see this post), there’s a heated debate going on about Tim O’Reilly’s ideas for a broad code of conduct for bloggers – and it’s even considered important enough to be a main story at The Guardian’s website. In principle I’m quite OK with this. I don’t have any explicitly stated commenting policy on my blog, but this is my space and I’ll decide what I tolerate being said here. If comments areÃ‚Â spiteful, racist etc.,Ã‚Â they just won’t appear.
O’Reilly’s original article on the other hand talks about a person who was victim of a concerted and spiteful campaign against her – would a code have been any good in such a circumstance? Would it have been respected, and actually assisted the individual concerned? I doubt it. In short, I’m OK with the idea of general principles, and I’m very much in favour of explicit blog comment policies. But I think we’re really misguided to think this is going to stop blogs being forums for hate at the margins.