Do Web Blogs 'need content warnings'?
April 11, 2007 3:56am CST
I was randomly surfing around and I came across an article on the BBC asking “Do Web Blogs 'need content warnings'?” this morning. There are two sides to this issue. On the plus side of the code, Web Blogs often contain objectionable content, content that is certainly not suitable for children. Two, the content can be downright libelous and smear the subject of the Blog six ways from Sunday. Blogs frequently violate copyright, trademarks, and a billion other things such as the copy-paste artists who stalk the net. Another problem complained of is the language often used in blogs...sailor talk. Indeed, sailors are often left blushing! So are Infantrymen and Marines! Parents are often scared of letting kiddos loose on the blogosphere, for fear of what their kids will pick up. On the negative side of the code, Web Blogs are considered speech. Americans feel speech should be free, that includes on the Blogosphere. People, the naysayers say, should use common sense when treading the Blogosphere. It has been called “misguided”. It is not a “medium or media”. When you open the gates for one list of rules, you open the gates for more draconian rules. Parents should parent children, and not the government. Here is the code quoted from the BBC article itself in question: (I pasted this because there is a Trojan horse making it's way around MyLot. Some people fear clicking links and this portion of the article is important.) "We celebrate the blogosphere because it embraces frank and open conversation." The draft says people should not be allowed to leave anonymous comments. Blogs which are open and uncensored should post an "anything goes" logo to the site to warn readers, the code suggests. Readers of these blogs would be warned: "We are not responsible for the comments of any poster, and when discussions get heated, crude language, insults and other "off colour" comments may be encountered. Participate in this site at your own risk." The draft will now be assessed and amended by bloggers around the world. The code states: "We are committed to the 'Civility Enforced' standard: we will not post unacceptable content, and we'll delete comments that contain it." The draft defines unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that is being used to "abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others". It also refers to libellous material, infringement of copyright or trademark and violations of privacy. End of quote. As we MyLotters know, some blogging websites such as MyLot have their own rules and block certain words from being posted to protect the sensibilities of other MyLotters. Certain MyLotters use creative spelling to beat this system using * in place of i or u. The URL to this story is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6540385.stm This link goes to the BBC news website.
11 Apr 07
Of course some people would argue that there should be restrictions in blogging. I feel there should as we are living in a world of civilised people. Accusations, bad-mouthing or condemnig should not be done in public. Every body shares what we write, so we need to be sensitive to others.
• United States
11 Apr 07
I am of the opinion that the restrictions should be left up to the individual boards. Few boards make no effort. Just for the sake of argument: If the government or governments are allowed to make the restrictions, they will be allowed to make more and more draconian restrictions. Take people who don't care for people criticizing government officials in government. They are out there. People are easily able to get around the restrictions. Note how MyLot board's restrictions are gotten around. Take the “F” word. You are not allowed to say it. However people do say it just using creative spelling, using * instead of u. Every one knows what they said except the bot that blocks the word. It is also yet another drain on the government purse that could go into government programs that are in -crying- need such as Medicare or Social Security that are under threat. The web is too big a place to police with true effectiveness. I think that we should not rely on government restrictions to protect us. I think we need to rely on common sense and individual sites to protect us such as MyLot. Children on the P.C. need to be supervised, and the family P.C. needs to be in the living room or in a common area.