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  1. Politics
9 May 2007

Blogging is a conversation not a code

By Mike Butcher

Social media – blogging, using networking sites like MySpace, video sites like YouTube, you name it – is tricky to handle and at times looks like chaos.

Hence when Kathy Sierra, a high profile marketing blogger recently received death threats there were calls to institute a “Bloggers code of conduct”.

These calls came mainly from Tim 0’Reilly, a blogging and technology doyen who also runs a publishing and events business in the tech and social media sphere.

The call was ironic since, of course, plenty of people considered any ‘code’ problematic for the free-wheeling Internet and not really an advancement for free speech but a closing down of debate. Since then O’Reilly has not mentioned it on his blog again.

However, recently Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell MP decided to weigh-in calling the “proposal a rare example of a good lesson for us in Britain.”

Since Ofcom currently does not regulate the Net – but by all accounts would quite like to get its paws on the damn thing – I hope this doesn’t presage calls for everyone to start being terrible polite online.

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