As much as I think it’s a commendable effort and as much as I sympathize with Kathy Sierra’s cause this initiative is dead on arrival. It’s ineffective for the same reasons that sticking an FBI warning on store bought copies of DVDs and showing anti-piracy ads to theater goers. You’re preaching to the choir. People willing to put this code of conduct or badge or whatever up on their blog are probably good citizens to begin with. Will it make a troll think twice and induce a pang of guilt before the go on a comment spree? I doubt it.
In addition, as Tony Hung notes: “The people who were responsible for the attacks weren’t bloggers.” Now that would suck wouldn’t it?
What’s more crazy about it and this is probably not intentional but I don’t like being told what to say and neither do others.
And whenever someone, no matter how much I respect them, tries to tell me what I can and cannot do by defining “civility” around their own ideals, I tense up.
There are some parallels to all the freedoms encroached upon by the Bush administration in the name of “fighting terrorism”. So thanks but no thanks. If I overstep an invisible boundary of taste just slap me on the wrists or bring it on. I’ll take my hits and adjust accordingly or fight back rather than blogging from within an invisible straightjacket. We need to draw our own boundaries and clarify our own standards of good taste rather than let others dictate them for us.