Monday, January 19, 2009

Information is power*

Our last blogger meeting was led by Eugenio Leal of the Mason blog. In his presentation he discussed citizen journalism, copyright, freedom of expression and self-censorship, all from the viewpoint of the personal ethics a blogger may or may not adopt. It’s a topic that’s very difficult to reach consensus on and for this reason it was, perhaps, one of the most lively meetings, which I like because it shows that we don’t all think alike and what is brilliant is that we will be VERY different.

I’ve transcribed here some of the paragraphs from his presentation which were most interesting to me:

“With the internet we are learning, beyond the technology, that human communications of a new type are being created in the new era of computing: virtual communities. These communities are based on the exchange of information and knowledge between people who might live in different countries and who will never meet face-to-face…”

“Blogger Code of Ethics:

  1. Assume responsibility not only for your own words but also for the comments you allow on your blog.
  2. State your tolerance level of abusive comments.
  3. Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
  4. Ignore the trolls.
  5. Continue the conversation outside the internet, talk directly or find an intermediary who can arrange it.
  6. If you know someone who is behaving badly, let them know.
  7. Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say in person.”

This code provoked enough controversy among us, I have doubts with respect to many of the points (which is normal for me), I think talking about blogger ethics is too complex. There are many blogs and to make it worse we are not blogging under normal conditions, for example: not only do I have anonymous comments, but I encourage people to comment on my blog anonymously, or protected by pseudonyms. At the same time I think it’s good that we try to reach a consensus among ourselves, even though it might not be infallible.

I close this post with the same words with which Eugenio closed our meeting, a beautiful interpretation of the words of Jeremiah:

“Because, like Jeremiah, what we try to do is: uproot and tear down, ruin and demolish, build and grow.

Uproot and tear down everything that separates Cubans.

Ruin and demolish the psychological barriers of helplessness.

Build and grow our nation, finally, with all and for the benefit of all.”

* Eugenio’s words.

No comments: