Friday is Stop Cyberbullying Day

“Let me propose a radical notion: The weblog’s greatest strength — its uncensored, unmediated, uncontrolled voice — is also its greatest weakness” Rebecca Blood

For resources and activities join StopCyberBullying.

I did some searching on ethics and blogging and found some things I really liked. At Rebecca’s Pocket I found a post that expounds on a list of blogging “dos” and the above quote. Worth a read. Rebecca Blood is the author of The Weblog Handbook.

1. Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true.

2. If material exists online, link to it when you reference it.

3. Publicly correct any misinformation.

4. Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry.

5. Disclose any conflict of interest.

6. Note questionable and biased sources.

The LibraryJournal has an article by Karen Schneider called The Ethical blogger. The article advises us to be transparent about the things we feel strongly about that might bias our posts, to cite our sources, and to admit our mistakes.

The next site I looked at was the CyberJournalist which had a detailed Blogger’s Code of Ethics. The main section headings begin with “Be honest and fair”. My favorite under this heading and one I think would be a great to build a lesson for our students around is to “distinguish between advocacy, commentary, and factual information”. The next section header is “Minimize Harm”. My favorite entry in this section was “Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content”. The last section deals with “Be accountable”. My best choice here is “Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others”.

I hope you will go read the original articles and use this material to start discussions with your students. Your students could use this as a starting point to creating their own code of blogging ethics.

As Sarge on Hill Street Blues used to say “Let’s be careful out there.”