A couple quick final thoughts before I pass out for the night: I haven’t read O’Reilly’s proposed blogger code of conduct yet; some commentary I have seen on it suggests I’ll be irritated at it as an involuntary speech restriction, and one comment makes the useful (and almost certainly correct) point that when you start censoring comments, you increase your liability for what the remaining comments say.
That said, I’ll almost certainly add an express mini-code to my own site after exams, reflecting what I’ve already been doing in comments. Basically: (1) a no asshole rule, since people should be told early and often that being an asshole is always unacceptable, and (2) a recognition that I’m accountable for what is on my site, and I will act accordingly, since trash in my comments reflects poorly on me.
I dislike overreactions that succumb to the framing of the internet as this horrible place filled with evil lurking around every corner, but I do believe in the power of social norms, and I do believe that no one should be subjected to what Kathy went through. So I’ll do my part to make sure my little corner of the web is clean, even though I think others should make that choice for themselves.
[Photo courtesy pamelaadam under CC-BY. See also what is almost certainly the only photo on flickr tagged with ‘enforced by aardvarks’.]
[Later: or just ignore me and ignore everything else and read John Scalzi. He has a long post, but the money quote is “What the blog world needs is not a universal “Code of Conduct”; what it needs is for people to remind themselves that deleting comments from obnoxious dickheads is a good thing.” Right on.]