There was a front page story in the New York Times today about the movement to introduce the concept of civility into the " conversational free for all on the internet known as the blogosphere. "
Last week, Tim O'Reilly ( I'm not making this up; that's his name and yes, this is a post whose topic is civility, common sense and maturity ) , a book publisher, began working on a set of guidlelines to shape online discussion and debate.
According to the Times, the recommendation that carries the most weight is the one recommending that bloggers not publish anonymous comments. This blog has commented on that one, so I won't repeat what's already been said. Check the archive if you're interested in my opinion on that one.
There's a school of thought out there in the blogosphere ( Amazing that one's round as well ) that all comments should be posted, no matter how threatening and venile they are. That's bullshit. Every blogger is also a gatekeeper. Editorial page editors don't publish every letter to the editor. The cable news guys don't display every email to Wolf Blitzer. And I wouldn't expect you to rip open a snail mail envelope you'd find in your mailbox. One addressed to : The asshole who lives here.
This blog thing is still pretty new. It's a new universe. A new world. A new country. What's happening right now is akin to drafting a constitution, a declaration of dependence and independence. We'll see how it goes.