On April 11, 2006, some students enrolled at the University of California, Santa Cruz, protested the presence of military recruiters at a job fair on campus. Michelle Malkin declared the students' actions to be sedition, and published their cell phone numbers and email addresses. The students then started getting death threats. According to this site, they asked Malkin to remove the information. She didn't. She reposted the information. Some other people then did some digging, and posted personal contact details for Malkin.
Bloggers left, right, and apolitical were disgusted by both incidents, and crafted the Statement of Online Integrity Principles.
If you are a blogger, would you sign? What do you think, not of l'affaire Malkin, but of the Statement?
Private persons are entitled to respect for their privacy regardless of their activities online. This includes respect for the non-public nature of their personal contact information, the inviolability of their homes, and the safety of their families. No information which might lead others to invade these spaces should be posted. The separateness of private persons’ professional lives should also be respected as much as is reasonable. Public figures are entitled to respect for the non-public nature of their personal, non-professional contact information, and their privacy with regard to their homes and families. No information which might lead others to invade these spaces should be posted. Persons seeking anonymity or pseudonymity online should have their wishes in this regard respected as much as is reasonable. Exceptions include cases of criminal, misleading, or intentionally disruptive behavior. Violations of these principles should be met with a lack of positive publicity and traffic.
This statement is nonpartisan and nonideological. It is open to participants and adherents left, right and center. In an era when online activism and community have more impact, promise and peril than ever, it is essential that we seize upon the best aspects of the internet — its self-policing, democratic nature — and use them to set an example of reasoned restraint and considered civility.
I've added these principles to my blogging principles.
Online Civility Here:
Online Civility Elsewhere:
Nancy White: Blog Civility
Brad Warthen's Civility Posts
Praxis101: Civility Wiki
Kathy Sierra: Are "Nice" and "Honest" Mutually Exclusive?
Kevin Drum: Blog Civility
Jane Galt: Kevin Drum's Blog Civility
PubliusTX: Kevin Drum's Blog Civility
Mike Reed's Flame Warriors
Suzette Haden Elgin: How to Disagree Online
Mark Bernstein: Blogosphere's Bad Behavior
The Washington Post had an online symposium on blogs and comments, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/01/24/DI2006012400817.html There's the Wilcox-McCandless Laws of Online Discourse.
At South By Southwest (sxsw) Nancy White lead or facilitated a panel, "us and them: a blog conversation survival guide" --the technorati collection of the conversation is here: http://www.technorati.com/tags/usthem