Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bloggers' Code Of Ethics,Why Not ?

Hantu Laut

Although I hate to admit that Minister of Home Affairs Syed Hamid Albar would be the last person I would agree with, I wouldn't put aside his proposal of code of ethics for bloggers.It depends on how we go about doing it.

Self-censoring one own writing is not too difficult if we can use the same principle as when we need to use our self-restraint from doing something that can harm us.The problem with some writers they lose self-control when they are reproachful and start using malicious rumours, lies and God's forsaken language against those they are not politically aligned with or those they have an axe to grind with, throwing caution to the wind, without an care and consideration for the sensitivities of others.

Public figures are subject to scrutiny and criticism but such reproach should be within the bounds of acceptable social behaviour.

If you write like this not only you need code of ethics you seriously need code of conduct.If yours is a political blog than I think you should stay within the confine of the subject and conduct your language accordingly.If your are running a smut site than such smutty materials are acceptable and nobody should complain because you target specific audience.

As Rocky Bru said it is not easy to initiate let alone accomplish which I completely agree with.It's the same with any other rules there are bound to be people who don't give a damn and break it.So to pass a general consensus code of ethics among bloggers wouldn't work, it would be just academic, an exercise in futility.

Laws are made to deter but they are also meant to be broken.That's why you still have people committing murders and other crimes.What we need is a little bit of education in self-censorship or in another word self-restraint and a self-imposed code of ethics.Bloggers associations can play a part in bringing awareness and to educating bloggers on the proper ethics.

Unlike mainstream media in blogging you are reporter,editor and publisher rolled into one.There is no one to edit, accept or reject your material.

You are the boss.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tuan,

Reporters Sans Frontiers already has a handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents with chapters on ethics and how to blog anonymously.

Hantu Laut said...

Jed Yoong,
Many thanks to alert me on the handbook.I have downloaded it.Will see whether it makes sense.