Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Golden Rule

There’s an interesting debate going on in the blogosphere these days centered around bringing civility into the discourse on the web. It’s interesting in that there’s a debate at all. Anyone, who’s cruised the blogs knows that the comments can get down and dirty

This is particularly true on political sites. Blogs that allow Anonymous entries are more prone to nasty comments (that is another reason why commenter’s have to log in on this blog). But apparently, it got so bad for one person (and not just mean comments, but alternate sites attacking her), that this gentlemen proposed along with the founder of Wikipedia what is now being called “The Bloggers Code of Conduct”. Here’s an NYT article that further expounds on the concept.

Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal online argues that while it is refreshing that the topic is being discussed, it is more of a sociological problem and not just confined to the blogosphere.

“Psychologists commenting on the phenomenon of Web-based verbal abuse or aggressive public heckling often talk about society's expanded notions of personal entitlement and the failure of baby-boomer parents to set norms of behavior for their infallible children. We have ratified a lot of over-the-line behavior. “

I’m of a mind to agree with Mr. Henninger. I don’t know that there’s any merit to a written “Code of Conduct” because there should already be one underpinning the person who’s typing on the keyboard. Besides its unlikely such a code is enforceable. When I was a kid, my mother taught me to be civil, to be respectful, to say please and thank you, and to remember the Golden Rule.

Okay, so now I’m an old fogey, and I walked barefoot 13 miles in the snow to get to school everyday, but the principle still holds no matter what generation you hail from.

The incivility that we’re inflicted with daily is another reason why I started this blog. I’d like people to feel good after visiting, much as I would a guest in my home.

So behave accordingly.

1 comment:

Apollo said...

The measure of a person's character is best judged by their behavior in solitude or anonymity. Internet communication (to include the blogosphere) consistently validates this maxim.