On the issue of online behavior.
I admire what Michelle Malkin wrote. Her race and her sex have both been used repeatedly against her. No matter how much you disagree with Michelle, such responses reflect badly only on those who give them. I admire her tough stand–way to go, Michelle.
Tim O’Reilly, Denise Howell, Kathy Sierra, and Sam Sethi are interviewed in a BBC article on recent events. My only question is: why do I never get interviewed for these things? Bad breath? Too frequent mixing up of it’s and its?
Leaving aside that useless plaint (why not me, why not me), and returning to the story, Tim had the following to say:
“I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of [legal/government] regulation it would come through self-regulation.”
There is a code already: it’s called humanity. There could never be any form of legal regulation, because the internet is ubiquitous. What laws transcend borders, such as murder, terrorism, or child pornography, already have laws and regulations in place regardless of the form of interaction.
We do not need a ‘code of conduct’ other than respect for each other and a sense of fair play. Oh, and people learn to think before reacting–to read what’s sometimes behind the words, rather than only the words, themselves.
One has to assume good intent on the part of the vast majority of those online. If we can’t, then why are we online? What fool would put themselves to such risk? My encounters online haven’t always been pleasant, and haven’t always been positive, but overall the scale weighs in favor of a populace who is generally good.
Assuming, and codifying, anything else is like those warning labels on DVDs, which assume most people accessing the disc are trying to rip it off.