In the wake of very distasteful things like the character assassination of Jill Filopivic and the horrendous cyberbullying of Kathy Sierra, there’s a welcome movement in the US blogosphere to adopt voluntary civility codes for blogs, as reported at Reason. Part of the idea is for different sorts of codes to be able to be chosen by different blogs – for instance some blogs might choose to allow, and others to disallow anonymous comment.
This is a particularly attractive feature:
Chief among the recommendations is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship.
What’s often most destructive of free speech is the loud complaints and vociferous and unbalanced denunciations of those who feel they should be allowed to troll, attack and abuse to their own content.
As Katherine Mangu-Ward writes:
Those who prefer a totally open comments section, idle gossip, and frequent personal attacks would be free to continue. But those hoping for a different experience could sign on to whichever new code came the closest to his ideal blog world, forming more exclusive communities–a bunch of private neighborhood associations for the blog world, not a police state.
There are links to some of the proposed codes via her post.