I got your code right here

So the bloggers are all worked up over Tim O’Reilly’s misguided blogger code of conduct. Seriously, he wrote a code of conduct, granted it was in response to some pretty bad conduct, but are we all in 5th grade?

Bloggers seem to be lining up behind it, but there’s a staunch and very reasonable group who oppose it. Read this excellent post by Jeff Jarvis (via daring fireball) or this one by Michael Arrington. I agree with pretty much everything they say.

The sentiment behind the code is, mostly, reasonable – but did we really need it? If I, as a blogger, was behaving like a jerk – is this code suddenly going to change my behaviour? Do I honestly need to put a Sheriff’s Badge up on my site for you to magically believe that I’m not a jerk? And a sheriff’s badge? Seriously?? To me that evokes the wild west, lawlessness and enforcement of mob law. Which, I guess, is sort of what this code is all about. To me it’s yet another representation of the unbridled hubris of Web2.0 talking heads.

They are all wisdom and love and they will benevolently impart their wisdom down to you, the masses. With the gentle touch and guiding hand of your mother they will right you when you go astray and put you back on the righteous and proper Web2.0 course. F that noise.

Jeff Jarvis says something great:

It’s a feel-good thing that is not only meaningless but, again dangerous — for all the reasons I list above and one more: It makes you think that you’ve solved a problem just because you signed a pledge and posted a badge.

On this blog I do what I do and say what I say. I’m not a jerk because that’s the way my momma raised me, I don’t need a sheriff’s badge to reflect that. And if I was a jerk and had the sheriff’s badge, would that mean anything to you? As if you’d read something horrendous that I posted and think to yourself, “Well, I’d be offended except, thank tim, he had the badge so it must not have actually been offensive.”

Seriously, it’s so stupid.

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