Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Working to Halt Online Abuse

I was thinking of the whole issue of online abuse and harassment this morning as I was scrambling to leave for work on time. And I had this "Aha!" moment--or maybe more accurately a "Duh!" moment. Took a lot of self control to head out the door rather than tossing up a post before I left.

It amazes me that anyone who is a self-proclaimed "gate-crasher" would have a thought process so limited and lacking in creativity that he sees this as a choice between adopting an onerous blogger code of conduct and dismissing the issue entirely. People will likely remind me that said gate-crasher has a new baby and he's operating under sleep deprivation conditions. Fair enough. But the question would then be, what excuse do all of his supporters--both the vocal ones and the ones who simply remained silent on this issue--have for not asking the question, "If we agree that the Blogger Code of Conduct is not a good idea, what other ideas can we come up with?"

Anyway, as I was grabbing my jacket and tripping over pets this morning, I thought about the fact that many blogs have a publicly displayed Privacy Policy. (I've even seen one in orange.) I think it is the least one could do to have a publicly displayed Anti-Harassment Policy. It could be as simple or as detailed as the blog owner desires. But I think it is completely reasonable, for starters, to expect that the posting of *death threats* on a blog would not be allowed. And, if such threats were somehow posted, the blog owner(s) would remove the threatening material as quickly as possible.

Click the graphic below to visit Working to Halt Online Abuse, a volunteer organization that was founded in 1997 to fight online harassment through education of the general public, education of law enforcement personnel, and empowerment of victims.

Working to Halt Online Abuse