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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Shut The Fuck Up, Donny

The NYTimes asks, "Is it too late to bring civility to the Web?"  Yes:

The conversational free-for-all on the Internet known as the blogosphere can be a prickly and unpleasant place. Now, a few high-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.

Last week, Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate.

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.

A recent outbreak of antagonism among several prominent bloggers “gives us an opportunity to change the level of expectations that people have about what’s acceptable online,” said Mr. O’Reilly, who posted the preliminary recommendations last week on his company blog (radar.oreilly.com). Mr. Wales then put the proposed guidelines on his company’s site (blogging.wikia.com), and is now soliciting comments in the hope of creating consensus around what constitutes civil behavior online.

(h/t res, not the fez)

Really, this is completely fucking stupid, insane and a waste of time and energy.  I shouldn't even bother blogging about it, but what the hell.

Why do we need any "recommendations" from the leading lights of Web2.0?  The whole point of blogging is to bring personal styles and thoughts to bear, not to follow some guidelines that wicked smart people who earn money doing consulting think up. 

Oh yeah, sure, they're soliciting comments, like this will be some big Come To Blogger Jesus thing and we'll all talk about our feelings, sing Kumbaya, tearfully hug each other at the end of camp and promise to write each other.  Then as soon as Mom and Dad pick up us, we'll promptly go back to our old lives and friends and forget about Tim and Jimmy and the cute girl--you know, whatsername--in Tent #4 and the camp mascot dog, Sadie.

As Walter might say to these guys: forget it, Donny, you're out of your element.


[Update: other thoughts...]

['nother update: the divine and dangerous watertiger fisks the article.]

['nother'nother update: My Batshit Insane Future Ex-wife (banal blonde edition) writes:

Ntodd -- who is always saying mean things about me! -- says:


April 8, 2007 | Permalink


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We could fucking ban anonymous quotes in the newspapers, while we're at it.

Guess not.

Posted by: Culture of Truth | Apr 8, 2007 10:56:13 PM

"Shoot me now"

Posted by: Karin | Apr 8, 2007 10:58:26 PM

Now I feel bad about all those people I left behind at summer camp.

Anyway, here's some lines from the CD that's coming your way, NTodd:

watch so-called reformers
regulate online talk
restore the compliant corpse
people power outlined in chalk

Posted by: Uncle Smokes | Apr 8, 2007 11:00:53 PM

I'm not quite as gung-ho about this. Jessica's article in the Guardian referred to a study which pointed out that in some Internet contexts (have to find out what contexts) handles which look female get 25 times the hostility than handles which look male. Then there is the Kathy Sierra case, and another female blogger I know who got death threats. Of course this is something different from "civility", but those who are threatened need to have the same access to police and so on as those who get threatened in meatspace.

Posted by: Echidne | Apr 8, 2007 11:04:15 PM

Echidne - sorry, that's apples and oranges, my darling Snake Goddess. Access to police is not the issue.

Posted by: NTodd | Apr 8, 2007 11:11:16 PM

Smokes - sweeeeet!

Posted by: NTodd | Apr 8, 2007 11:12:18 PM

Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0

So HE'S the one?

Excuse me, I'm about to say something...uncivil...

Posted by: dan mcenroe | Apr 9, 2007 12:27:45 AM

We could just adopt the movie ratings system for blogs, only key them to civility rather than, you know, sex and violence. The little logos described in the article are a great idea, though. That way you don't have to read anything; just find a blog with the right logo and start right in leaving uncivil comments.

Hey, maybe we can even leave uncivil comments on the Web site where they've unveiled their proposed guidelines. Virgil's "Piss up a rope" would be a good start.

Posted by: Swift Loris | Apr 9, 2007 12:39:44 AM

Oh do tell. This idiot must be a pal of A. Althouse aka Cry Baby. Also see (who alternates as Weenie).

Posted by: Lesley | Apr 9, 2007 1:06:22 AM

this is the kind of stuff that makes me glad nobody reads my blog.

well, no, i think one or two people read it. actually, i think my mom reads it. but i've never had to be civil to her. i tell my mom to shut up more often than bill o'reilly.

as for commenting on other people's blogs, i usually only do it to kiss their ass. like NTodd here - you're my fucking hero, man. ...can i have your bud lite?

Posted by: r@d@r | Apr 9, 2007 1:43:28 AM

I saw the flashing red light. That means this damned blog is the place to be fucking uncivil, right?

So. How's the weather?

Posted by: ellroon | Apr 9, 2007 11:47:30 AM

Has "PISS UP A ROPE" been acronymized yet? Could we add PUAR to our liberal blogging lexicon, please, with full credit? Did the phrase originate with Left-Handed Compliment?

The NYT teaching bloggers manners is like George W. Bush teaching Joseph Wilson diplomacy. Tim O'Reilly and Jimmy Wales are due credit for their tech-world accomplishments, but publishing high-quality tech books gives O'Reilly no added credibility in the world of blogs, and I for one refuse to see my blog edited like a wiki.

I agree that death threats are unacceptable, but IMHO, apart from those, we need more strong language, not less, from bloggers. All the "civilized" forums for dealing with our society's problems have collapsed in a heap in the past few years, and our time has come as bloggers to take the stage, with our own styles and modes of expression. It's time to fuckin' kick ass, galz 'n' guyz. I don't care how famous they are... NYT and certain self-styled "experts" can stick their manners where the 'net don't connect. (Well, there was that Google toilet on 4/1...)

Posted by: Steve Bates | Apr 9, 2007 1:42:47 PM

I like the thing in the NYT article about how parody blogs are bad. I agree completely.

Posted by: Thers | Apr 9, 2007 5:22:06 PM

Parody blogs are the worse things there are.

NTodd, I think you should pack yourself and your kids into the Vermont Love Van and head west to Madison and win Ann Althouse's Merlot-sodden heart.

Posted by: attaturk | Apr 9, 2007 6:59:59 PM

I was going to ask you about your homage and/or parody blog Prickstein Wisdom before Duncan Black banned me again like the hypocritical craphound he is, but I see that you at least had the character to credit the coinage, so that's fresh.

Me? I just want to hang out on blog threads where everybody thinks like me and thereby validates my retarded views of the adult world.


Posted by: Toby Petzold | Apr 9, 2007 8:07:57 PM

Echidne, from what I understand, internet death threats are actionable offenses. Sierra shouldn't waste her time with the local cops and should contact the FBI (interstate crime and all that).

Thanks for the linkee love, NTodd. *mwah*

Posted by: watertiger | Apr 9, 2007 11:16:01 PM

don't ask me, i'm just a whiny racist.

Posted by: charley | Apr 10, 2007 4:28:35 PM

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