Blahblahblah ethics and rules and summat, but does this apply here?

April 10, 2007 at 7:54 pm 4 comments

DISCLAIMER: I know, I know, this really isn’t my cup of tea, and I’m supposed to be either lulbashing others, or write moar on teh animu, but well, this seemed interesting, and related to all the dorama that’s happening around.

DISCLAIMER PART TWO: This article is meant to provoke thoughts and such. It is also really long and boring. Anyone who is allergic to thinking and long articles should stay away. By clicking to see more, you agree to not hold me responsible for anything that happens after you read it.

Oshi looks liek sumone got deaththreated and 4chan’d

LOL Code of Conduct

The only two things that makes a buttlord of sense

Usually, I wold ignore such things and focus on animu (I hear Claymore is a pile of awesome and stuff), but seeing as we tend to drum up dorama as of late, and seeing that people would love to beat back on blogs and stuff and literally wanting America and the Internet to be like Singapore and China in terms of free speech, this post is meant for everyone who owns a blog, writes for one, and people who read and comment for blogs.

Well, isn’t this a pretty pile of drama we’ve jumped into. Death threats and Photoshopped pictures of people doing unmentionable things to people. While I’m glad the animé blog community (I refuse to use the horrid term ‘blogosphere’)
has not sunk to such lows, it seems elsewhere, people are abusing the tenets of free speech to hurl hate.

It’s a lot worse in Singapore, where I live, since we don’t really have this concept of free speech until the Internet Age arrived. And it’s quite obvious we cannot handle such freedom, either.

Free speech isn’t about being able to say pretty much anything, it’s about being able to express yourself in a responsible manner, and being mature enough to handle the responsibilities of doing as such. Unfortunately, all of us seem to be abusing it to slander and make people scared for their lives.

It’s a terrible thing, really, when one has to fear for his or her life just because people are pretty gosh-darned insensitive and pig-headed. Something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I was 15 being abused as such, and thus giving my Good Government more proof to show that freedom of speech is bad for us. It’s not only sickening, it’s also one of the worst things that could happen to humanity. Sure, people might tell me there is freedom of speech in Singapore, but I digress.

I’m probably not well-known and people like me are probably the butt of a many a joke in the World Wide Web, but, darnit, I’m not just someone who likes kiddie stuff, I’m a global citizen, a human being, and most of all, I am sentient. Being sentient means I am free to express my opinions wherever I want, whenever I want. Being sentient means I am not a sheep, waiting to be herded to the next pasture (although sometimes I tend to want that, being Christian and all). And most important of all, being sentient means I have the ability to think properly and choose what I want to do about any given situation. And to do that, I want to be able to access information, unfiltered by anyone or anything. It isn’t fair treating human beings like animals. Modified, maybe, so that it doesn’t outright incite negative emotions in people, but hiding your true intentions under a veneer of niceties ain’t gonna cut it.

We can’t handle the truth about ourselves, the world, and the community around us, that much I know. But it isn’t fair to lie to one another just because of that. The Internet is not a social situation, and we aren’t in one. While the basic tenets of being nice to one another still stands, sometimes, the truth has to be told.

With that said, I don’t feel altogether comfortable with the blogging code of conduct. Not that I’m averse to being responsible or anything, but it’s too similar to pretty much the stuff I’m exposed to everyday, and I’m not a fan of anything that restricts freedom of speech.

Points of dissentation:

We define and determine what is “unacceptable content” on a case-by-case basis, and our definitions are not limited to this list. If we delete a comment or link, we will say so and explain why. [We reserve the right to change these standards at any time with no notice.]

While the words before make some sense, this doesn’t. This turns the blogger into some sort of petty tyrant who forces people to consent to their rules, or be forever persecuted. That’s not being nice.

The words before this bit of information goes on about ‘Civility’. Since when is the Internet ‘civil’? We are talking about a meeting of clashing opinions here. Harsh words will be said, egos will be bruised, and people will get mad. Conflict will almost invariably occur, and people will say harsh things about one’s mother. The flaw in being sentient is that we will never see eye-to-eye with one another. The only thing we can do is take responsibility for our words and actions and learn some conflict resolution techniques. And if the other side does not want to listen, well, it’s safe to assume he won’t change.

2. We won’t say anything online that we wouldn’t say in person.

Again, I say, this isn’t some social situation. The internet allows us to say whatever we like, whenever we like, as long as we take responsibility for our words and action. Keeping pent-up emotions inside us isn’t healthy for us. And letting it all off in one go is not all that healthy to our standing. Plus, I don’t think we want to lie to people.

3. If tensions escalate, we will connect privately before we respond publicly.

Not applicable at all. Especially if the perp is hellbent on screwing you over massively. Also, while we may be sentient, we unfortunately retain some of our animal behavior. And a lot of people see that as another mans to attack.

4. When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

When someone who is publishing comments or blog postings that are offensive, we’ll tell them so (privately, if possible) and ask them to publicly make amends. If those published comments could be construed as a threat, and the perpetrator doesn’t withdraw them and apologize, we will cooperate with law enforcement to protect the target of the threat.

One thing I’ve learned from people who actually run their own servers: Do not try to anger anyone on the Internet. Who knows, that poor man you’ve just angered has a botnet and WILL DDoS you to oblivion, or knows people who can do such a thing, and much more. If he’s out there to screw you over, fight back by thanking the poor fool for pointing out your mistakes. And then brace for DDoS or crapflood. By dealing with the problem in a manner that makes you look good, it’s better for your position than trying to privately contact the person in question. To put it bluntly, GG, fool. You’ve given him an avenue to attack you. Plus lawsuits take a long time to resolve and since most judges don’t understand the nature of the Internet, it might take a long time. And going to the police will make you look weak, especially if they can’t find anything illegal about it. Not that I have anything against the judicial system or the police or anything.

6. We ignore the trolls.

Ignoring doesn’t completely resolve the situation. In fact, it just makes the situation like the ex-wife you don’t want to mention at a social situation, and the Internet isn’t a social situation.

7. We encourage blog hosts to enforce more vigorously their terms of service.

When bloggers engage in such flagrantly abusive behavior as creating impersonating sites to harass other bloggers they should take responsibility for their clients’ behavior.

I believe parody is protected by law. Somewhat. Also, hosts are not directly responsible for what their users use their hosting for.

The current Code feels less like something I want to follow and more like something my country would put out.

In it’s place, I would like to suggest this revised Code of Conduct (pulled mostly from the Talk Page of the original Code Of Conduct) :

1. We will take responsibility about what we say and post.

This does not directly apply to content made by others.

2. We strive to be respectful in our disagreements with others, by focusing on issues rather than personalities.

Often our posts are built on an important disagreement. In our posts, we will try to address the issues underlying the disagreement rather than the personalities involved in the disagreement. If our differences of opinion can’t be resolved, we have the option to agree to disagree.

3. We give others the benefit of the doubt.

Posts to blogs are often made “off the cuff,” in a short period of time, and with minimal editing. Many perceived disagreements often stem from misunderstandings. We will try to extend the benefit of the doubt before taking offense.

4. We permit anonymous comments, but prefer that people identify themselves.

After all, name or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality of the discussion.

5. We reserve the right to delete any post.

The blog owner is under no obligation to let anybody use the owner’s bandwidth for their speech. The blog owner’s site policies do not prevent you from shouting your opinion on any corner, or using the hundreds free or cheap services that are available (starting with your local street corner, which might actually reach a larger audience than most blogs.)

6. We reserve the right to have an opinion.

We reserve the right to have an independently formed opinion, and should be given the right to explain our position on said opinion. Healthy criticism is encouraged.

7. We will respect copyright, and give credit where it is due, when possible.

As long it does not violate the terms of ‘fair use’.

8. We are only human (and admit it.)

We will try to follow these guidelines, but will sometimes make mistakes. We will take responsibility for our own actions.

(Kudos to Kirk Job Sluder (kirkjobsluder at gmail dot com) and the sensible people who want to amend the Code of Conduct.)

As a parting shot, I would like to say this: Living in a country where freedom of speech is almost non-existent made me more appreciative of free speech and responsibility than ever before.

Drm note: I know this doesn’t apply to the animé blog community as much as it should, but with all those Harutards running around and stuff, well, let’s just say that people should learn to read about stuff outside this community, yes?

Entry filed under: Off-Topic, WTF.

Hinano causes blog dorama! THE CANCER THAT IS KILLING KYOANI

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lupus  |  April 10, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    From the Buzz Machine article:
    Matthew Ingram’s headline says it all: “You are your code of conduct.”

    The thing about ethics and codes of conducts are that they are, to a large degree, peer or self enforced. In an internet culture were anonymity reigns supreme, it’s impossible to enforce such a thing. And there will always be people who rile up trouble just for the sake of riling up trouble, not to mention people whose sole claim to fame (or infamy, in the case of people like Jack Thompson) are their ability to make trouble. So obviously you can’t expect the community as a whole to enforce anything like that. Not to mention that the community has no power to punish anyone who breaks a code of conduct.

    I made fun of the Code of Conduct in the AB IRC channel today for various reasons – one of which is that the anime blogging community – our community – loves sensationalism. It generates feedback. It generates comments. It generates page views. It generates E-PENIS. As a rule of thumb the more flame inducing your post is the more comments you get. Asking people to take responsibility for their own action in an environment like this is the equivalent of giving a little kid a jar of cookie and asking him to not eat it. Again, it’s a matter of self-controlt, and again, in an internet where your actions have no consequences except for those you imposed upon yourself (guilt, actually caring about the people who respond and interact with you etc.) it’s all but impossible.

    As you so rightly say in your post, the Internet isn’t a social situation. It can be if you choose it to be, but more often than not, it’s one man out to anger as many faces that he doesn’t know nor care about, and that man not knowing or admitting that there are real, living, breathing human beings behind each of those names he insults. There is no way to enforce any sort of internet regulation without going to the extremes of banning, and censoring, because of the freedom afforded by anonymity. Freedom of speech, on the internet, is a double edged sword, because you cannot be held accountable for what you say. You log off, you change your name, you’re a different person.

    I probably have more to say but I’ll leave it for now. I might order my thoughts and make a response on my blog.

  • 2. lolikitsune  |  April 10, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Hey Drm, good post, if only because it made me go to EFF’s site and read a bunch of their FAQ’s about legal blogging. Good stuff.

    Your code of conduct there looks fine, but as a person who trolls his own blog and flames everything, I don’t think I have the right to say “yay” or “nay.”

  • 3. Tyrenol  |  April 11, 2007 at 12:34 am

    For me, it all depends on where one stand. Long-winded comments annoy me. Cheerleading blogging and comments from “moe blobs” sicken me. But the threatening of a life is the crossing of the line.

    That’s why I try, at the best of my ability, not to do it. I may have done it on the web before. But there’s too much going on in the world for anyone to just randomly threaten someone’s life. This is no joke. Consequences WILL happen when enough people want it.

    That’s why I can’t stand the 4chanism and their complete obliviousness with the Anonymism. If it’s out of fear of becoming an insulting meme, okay. But nicknames separate the open-minded from the closed-minded.

    My heart goes out to you, Singaporians. (Or would you want my pity? Do I even have right what I’m calling you?)

  • 4. anamesis  |  April 11, 2007 at 8:00 am

    i agree with yah on this once its writin down its your responsibilty and if you get your ass flamed WELL FUCKING GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN QUICK XD

    though i really shouldnt talk since i openly make fun of how crappy my blog is and how ive had around 190 posts and no comments whatsoever (not to mention the point of me starting the blog in the first place was do to boredum and the current reason is a manga that is paroding and parody XD)

    but seriously nobody has the right to hurt somebody, sure freedom of speech and whatnot but even that should have a limit on some shit.

    TEH TRUTH: i am a complete moral idiot and so are the rest of us even if we deny it, thus is the truth of teh human race

    sorry bout and excessivly long annoying badly writen comment (just proving how stupid i am XD)


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And the prophet spake, saying: "Frak this, for my faith is a shield proof against your blandishments!"

- Alem Mahat, The Book of Cain, Chapter IV, Verse XXI

Email: DrmChsr0atgmaildotcom (at=@, dot=.)


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