The Ethics of Blogging June 6th, 2012
Recently, I was asked to take a look at several different examples of codes of ethics, to identify which I felt the strongest about, and then to explain why. After careful consideration, I narrowed it down to the Ethics Guidelines for Poynter Publishing. These guidelines are based on the following core values:
- Professional Responsibility
I find it hard to cherry pick from this list of values, as it seems the combination of ALL of these values is what actually speaks to the integrity of a post.
I am new to blogging, but for me, when I sit down to compose a post, I remind myself that it is important to stay true to the facts, to be open and honest (transparent) when I am stating an opinion that has not been validated, and to do all that is possible to “do no harm” when stating that opinion. Of course, a lot of what I blog about is important to me personally; however, it is my hope that others find my posts helpful, as well.
I was also asked to respond to the following ethical dilemmas that often come up in blogging:
“You Google yourself and find that another blogger has taken several of your original blog posts and posted them on her site. She includes your name as the author, but does not include the link to your site nor any other information about it. You see she’s gotten thousands of hits and lots of comments in response to a post YOU WROTE. How would you handle it? What are the ethical issues it raises?”
I have found that the best approach is always to start by assuming that one’s motivations are pure. It may be that this particular blogger is not yet aware of all of the ins and outs of internet ethics/etiquette, and that they will respond positively to constructive guidance from a fellow blogger. I am always looking for win-wins, and this approach would allow for both an opportunity to educate and also to expand my network. (Note to anyone that happens to read this post . . . I am new to blogging myself, so please feel free to share your constructive guidance with me at any time.)
What do you think? Please feel free comment below.
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