Two luminaries in the internet blogoshpere, Tim O’Reilly (credited
with coining the term Web 2.0) and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, have
suggested a code of conduct in what they see as the lawless world of
online media. Their idea came in the wake of anonymous death threats
posted on the blog of one of O’Reilly’s friends, Kathy Sierra.
Their new code suggests that blog content should be deleted if found to
be abusive, threatening, libellous and false, or if it violates
promises of confidentiality or rights of privacy. The suggestion,
however, has been greeted with widespread disapproval. Comments posted
about the issue include:
- ‘One of the core principles that the internet is built on is the principle of free speech’
- ‘Censorship is a slippery slope’
- ‘In authoritarian and cruel regimes, if someone wants to get himself hanged, only then would he criticise the regime in person’
"This appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to a frightening
personal experience. As the comments suggest, censorship is indeed a
slippery slope and I can’t see it happening".