Newly Proposed Internet Rules Could Ban Comments Sections at Blogs

The infighting and hostility in the blogosphere best exemplified by the recent Kathy Sierra brouhaha has led some prominent Internet denizens to push for rules that could reduce or eliminate the popular comments sections at blogs.

For those that have forgotten, Kathy Sierra is a programming instructor and blogger who last month had to cancel a speaking engagement at a technology conference in San Diego, California, due to death threats she had received at her website as well some that she had no affiliation with.

With that in mind, some folks want to do something to prevent this type of behavior in the future. As reported by the New York Times Monday (emphasis added throughout):

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.

The article elaborated:

Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Wales talk about creating several sets of guidelines for conduct and seals of approval represented by logos. For example, anonymous writing might be acceptable in one set; in another, it would be discouraged. Under a third set of guidelines, bloggers would pledge to get a second source for any gossip or breaking news they write about.

Bloggers could then pick a set of principles and post the corresponding badge on their page, to indicate to readers what kind of behavior and dialogue they will engage in and tolerate. The whole system would be voluntary, relying on the community to police itself.

Not to be sarcastic, but would anybody care to comment?

Noel Sheppard's picture