Blogging Code of Conduct


Kathy Sierra had a meltdown after an anonymous death threat, so naturally, Tim O’reilly joined in the call for a Blogging Code of Conduct.

I figure my church sign will have about as much impact as some knee-jerk, sentimental blogging movement. Here’s your sign.


  1. Sigh … “unwritten rules of blogging” – what unwritten rules?

    The moment someone tries imposing their moral beliefs (nicely called ‘code of conduct’) is the moment they can go fuck themselves.

    Sorry for the language, but this holier-than-thou attitude some people carry around like a nightstick gets annoying. Much less the reality that anyone who does send out a death threat won’t stop and go “oh wait a minute, these are against the code of conduct. Shit, can’t send this now!”

  2. DG

    No need to apologize, I share your sentiment. I was cussing over at Threadwatch earlier.

  3. Thank you for the laugh today. I really needed it and you don’t even know how much

  4. “I figure my church sign will have about as much impact as some knee-jerk, sentimental blogging movement. ”

    Actually – more. Hopefully….

  5. DG

    Hey, it’s that girl from marketing! It’s Friday, everyone deserves a laugh. Glad you found one.

    Chris, I’d like to think so, but the rude people are probably too busy furiously typing nasty comments to slow down enough to read the signs… ; )

  6. While I think the “Blogging Code of Conduct” is stupid and your church sign is amusing, I feel as though I detect a sense that as a guy, you don’t know what it’s like to have to fear being sexually assaulted. Yes, it happens occasionally to men, but men don’t generally worry about their safety. Also, online, men tend to get macho stupid “I’ll kick the shit out of you” threats, but women often get threats of sexual violence. If the world wasn’t so dangerous for women, the threats could probably be blown off more easily. But, any time men feel the need to attack women online, they’re always threatening rape. Even the ex-John Edwards bloggers – they were threatened with rape and told, in disgusting detail, that all they needed was to be fucked.

    I don’t know Kathy Sierra and I only found out about everything a few days ago, but I found the extent of the threats to be super creepy. It’s almost surely someone who knows her, so it’s not the idle threat from a continent away, it’s a scary threat from a man who probably attends all the same conferences that she does. It may not scare a 6’6″ cowboy, but imagine being her and walking back to your hotel room alone at a conference.

    I’m sure the threats were probably stupid macho online-only threats…but what if they weren’t? You’ve been online a long time, you know that there are lots of unstable people who hide behind their anonymity.

  7. DG

    You’re right, I don’t know what it’s like to fear being sexually assaulted. All the threats I’ve ever had to deal with were threats of physical harm or death. And yes, the macho stupid kicks in, as any death threat I’ve ever received was met with, “better pack a lunch”. I’m certainly not condoning the actions of the person/people making the threats.

    I do think she handed the situation poorly. From what I understand, sexual threats aren’t about sex, they’re about power. By admitting that she was scared, locked at home and had canceled her speaking engagement, she gave power to the person making the threats.

    My cursory psychological studies indicate that people that get a small taste of power typically want more.

    By meltdown I meant that she handled the situation poorly. The threat of physical and sexual violence exists whether or not threats have been made. Receiving a threat means that you’ve also received a warning. Which is another reason I may not take threats as seriously as I should. I tend to believe that the people that are serious don’t tip their hand. I firmly believe that you should always be prepared for violence.

    Now, with all that said, if the threats had been made against my sister, I would have escorted her to her speaking engagement. ; )

  8. Kirby

    You may want to use the sign of a non-denominational church so you don’t piss anyone off by appearing sectarian.

  9. blackiejones

    She should look on the bright side this whole incident brought her more attention than ever. I never heard of Cathy Sierra prior to Sunday now her name is all over the place.

    A code of conduct is silly and its an attempt by somebody to cash in on the currency victimization offers. We don’t need another hero…

  10. DG

    I totally agree Blackie. Doesn’t look like the call for a blogging code of conduct garnered much support either. Everyone can go light some aroma therapy candles and pick out a ribbon color for the anti- ‘blogger rage’ movement. ; )

  11. You made certain fine points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly folks will agree with your blog.

  1. 1 Moral Relativism: I’m better than you - Tech Soapbox

    […] I saw this: is it time for a blogging code of conduct? and I just shook my head. Thankfully, one of my favorite bloggers spoketh on this blogging code of conduct. […]

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