Monday, September 22, 2008

Doing What's "Right" in the Blogging World

I found a great article at that crystallizes an issue too many of us have had to deal with all too often during the past few months--what's right and what's wrong in blogging.

Jon says in his article, A Blogger's Code of Ethics, "[R]esponsible bloggers should recognize that they are publishing words publicly, and therefore have certain ethical obligations to their readers, the people they write about, and society in general." What are those obligations? Jon offers three guiding principles:

  • Be Honest and Fair
  • Minimize Harm
  • Be Accountable
"Bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information," Jon states. They should "[n]ever plagiarize," and they should "[i]dentify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability."

True that.

Unfortunately, we find that so much plagiarism takes the form of misguided admiration from bloggers experienced and new who just don't know what plagiarism is. In a situation like that, it's important to spell it out:

When should a blogger link to her source and when is it okay not to? Readers?