Blogger’s Code Redux

The concept of a voluntary code for bloggers (read; they would like it to be compulsory) has been burping about for a while now. Via The Englishman, I see that the Torygraph has regurgitated it today:

A voluntary code of conduct for bloggers and internet commentators is supported by almost half of all internet users, a survey has claimed.

The researchers said 46 per cent of web users believe bloggers should agree to a set of guidelines which reflected the laws on defamation, intellectual property rights and incitement.

Four per cent strongly opposed the suggestion and 15 per cent had no opinion.

Like the Englishman, I am one of the four percent. I own this site. I decide what is published. My comments policy covers such things as libel and that, frankly, is sufficient. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere. I do not need a voluntary code and will never sign up for one. Ever. Clear?

In the Englishman’s comments, MarkS asks cui bono? The answer, it seems, is a law firm. Well, ain’t that a surprise?

I repeat; I own this blog. It is a private space; you are here as a guest. I decide what is published. If you, as a guest, do not like what I write, then you don’t have to read it. I don’t engage in libellous comment (at least, not knowingly and if my attention was drawn to it, I’d take the appropriate action), so to those who would want me to sign up for a blogging code, I would merely ask; What part of “never” do you not understand?


  1. I didn’t think much of the sound of it from the first paragraph of that article, but reading further it didn’t sound as though it amounted to much, apart from “bloggers should obey the law”! Since we all have to obey the law anyway (even though we may think it ridiculous in parts) I didn’t see it as anything to worry about.

    QuestionThats last blog post..Three ‘Policy Challenges’

  2. Ian, yes, the law applies whatever. I get the distinct feeling that there is an agenda here to control what we write. Some don’t like the adversarial approach used by some bloggers… Mentioning no names, of course.

  3. Well no one has ever asked me about a ‘bloggers code’ for a start. No one I’ve ever come across seems to know either. I’d like to see one of these ‘surveys’ just so I could work out their sample size.

    Perhaps they’re just doing what all those who want to advance an anti democratic, anti liberty, anti free speech agenda seem to do so readily; which is plucking unsubstantiated figures out of thin air.

    Mister Joness last blog post..Curiosities

  4. covered also at

    with some strange figures

    On the subject of ‘internet control’

    The Guardian’s list of Bills in the draft Queen’s Speech includes this

    11. Communications data bill. Strengthens powers to monitor people’s use of the internet and seizes data to combat terrorism and crime.

    It’s not mentioned directly anywhere, that I can see, in the draft speech

    Any idea what this is about?

  5. Who Knows? Sorry if you experienced a little difficulty there – Akismet saw all those links and assumed that you were a despised and hated Spammer. Apologies.

    As for what it is all abut – I think DS Piper are engaging in a little self-publicity. As has been mentioned, libel laws apply to all forms of media, so there is no need for a voluntary code. Indeed, I removed a libellous comment recently. It turned out to be a cyber stalker hounding a commenter. I don’t tolerate that behaviour. I don’t need a voluntary code for that, either.

    Ultimately, a voluntary code that says “we obey the law” is pointless. Therefore, I can only see such things as a stepping stone to some form of social control. The government is not proposing anything that I am aware of at the moment, but firms such as Piper are getting in early – after all, someone will have to draft such things, someone will have to advise and someone will have to defend bloggers in the event of a prosecution or litigation.

    They just ran the flag up to see who saluted. I did, but not the type of salute they are likely to appreciate, methinks… 😉

  6. Thanks. I was wondering if I had been banned for having dared to so much lower the tone as create a second mention of the Daily Mail on an earlier post. Such a reaction would have been entirely understandable

    Whatever, second your salute. Agree about the stepping stones. The really depressing thing is that my kids, and their generation, who are of the age that should be out there with paving stones, just don’t see it. An Iron Curtain Europe, but with current hi-tech capacity, is a vision that their limited experience just doesn’t allow them to form, nor can they appreciate how dangerous such an animal will be

    As for the Govt bill I was wondering about, I see Spyblog is as quick off the mark as usual

    I wouldn’t bother trying to bet on the outcome of the consultation. No bookie is going to accept a winning bet, are they?

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