Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Monday, November 24, 2008

No, we do not need a blogging code of ethics

So over the weekend, our Home Minister Datuk  Seri Syed Hamid Albar started the conversation going again: Do we need a blogging code of ethics?

The feeling I get is "here we go again." We've been talking about ethics, policing of the blogosphere and freedom of speech for years.

Personally, I'm all for ethical blogging. Bloggers need to be responsible for what they write - and most responsible bloggers should be. However, I also think that to just bundle everyone with a blog up into a group that needs to be governed by a "code of ethics" (and we don't yet know which institution will be setup to enforce this) is plain narrow-minded.

Firstly, we need to differentiate between a "code of ethics" and a legal mechanism. You can still sue a blogger that posts something libelous as long as you have the grounds within the laws of Malaysia today. You don't need a code of ethics to do that.

The code of ethics come into play when an institution (National Institution of Blogging?) is set up to tell bloggers how to behave online. I have an issue with this on two levels. Firstly, who is anyone to tell me what I can or cannot or even, should, do with my blog (unless its illegal - then send the police after me).  Having an institution puts a committee ahead of the individual when it comes to determining content anyone can produce - even if its individual, personal content.

Secondly, the idea of having an institution (whether its the government or an body setup by bloggers) simply mis-implicates blogging as a profession rather than as a technology platform for personal expression. Not all blogs are mass media. Not all blogs aspire to be. Some blogs are. Most blogs are just some single individual's thoughts and online journal. So, do I need to subscribe to a blogging code of ethics if I'd like to blog about dogs? Do I need to register with a Department of Blogging and sign my agreement to the National Code of Blogging Ethics?

Are we on the verge of dictating conditions under which people can use this very useful technology?


e s t a n c u s said...

heys! good post! i cant agree with you more... XD

davidlian said...

Thanks man.