If you have a complaint about this blog…

The dirtector of the Press Complaints Commission, Tim Toulmin, thinks blogs need a ‘voluntary code of conduct’. (h/t John Band)
We already have one. Call it society, culture, or just good manners if you will, we are governed by the same code of conduct as the rest of society.
Although Blogistan (or The Blogosphere if your prefer) may look intimidating to anyone involved with organised media… we are, in fact, a collection of individuals. We have no more power than we do as individuals, and (unlike companies, charities and associations) we have no more legal protection than we do as individuals. We do not need to be regulated any more than we do as individuals.

But unless there was a voluntary code of conduct there would be no form of redress for people angered at content.

There is a form of redress, Mr Toulmin. My comments box is open, and I respectfully invite you to redress yourself there. My readers shall consider your point-of-view, and if they agree with you over me, then I shall probably lose credibility with one or both of them.
If you find yourself strangely under-satiated, then you could try the libel court, or perhaps arrest me for incitement to something-or-other. If that doesn’t work, then I haven’t actually done anything legally wrong. I am sorry, but you therefore do not deserve redress. I shall continue to wave a metaphorical wanker sign at you, from accross the proverbial street, and there is nothing you can do about it.
WANK, Germany


As with all political campaigns, calls to action, pledges, and calls to boycott, there is a logo button one can add to one’s blog. Disillustioned & Bored does the honours.
Voluntary Code Free Zone
An amusing comment over there, from Anonymous (8:07):

Is it voluntary or do i have to use it?

I tend to keep campaign logos off my front page, on the basis that it clutters up the sidebar. I’m a sidebar scrooge, if you will.

9 Replies to “If you have a complaint about this blog…”

  1. I agree completely. In fact, I think the comments box in a blog is a better form of redress than traditional media. Just how many letters to the editor can (or will) any magazine or newspaper print? And I don’t recall too many TV news shows spending precious time (that could be sold to advertisers) addressing viewer complaints. On a blog, anyone can comment, any time.
    PS: Thanks for letting me know about the use of my photo. It works quite well there!

  2. Allanimal is spot on:
    “In fact, I think the comments box in a blog is a better form of redress than traditional media. “
    I have already developed this theme extensively here.

  3. Hear hear! But some rather arrogant, and for me, the more anger-making/offence-causing bloggers don’t have a comments box. That makes me mad as hell.
    Does your argument still apply to non-comment-allowing bloggers, who just want to spout their bile at people and not face up to any consequences, or take any reciprocal part in society? Non-comment bloggers are like hit-and-run drivers, knock-down-ginger-players and such like. Is there a consensus on them and their regulation?

  4. Clarice,
    “Am I allowed to name someone that does this? “
    I would say that you are almost REQUIRED to do so. 🙂
    “You can still, for example, comment on your own blog, in lieu of leaving a comment. “
    Hmmm… In the comments to my article, I do attempt a cursory nod in this direction: this is tricky and starting your own blog does not fulfill some of the core conditions – particularly as regards correction link permanence and audience reach – that I set out.
    That said, I take the line that blogs without comment facilities are not really blogs – they are merely regularly updated web sites.
    A savvy operator faced with this problem would probably do the following:
    – mail the offending blogger with your concerns and ask for an update to the post
    – failing that, find out a number of sites that do accept comments and that while in competition to your offending blogger have some overlap – evidenced by an abundance of links between the two – and sell your story by mailing it to the blogger to make a post of it, noting that offending blogger has refused to put up a correction. Your story will need to be watertight and well referenced. You may even need to start a blog to get the full documentation in the open to prove your case.
    It’s probably worth asking your blogger if he would consider the post, then let you know before posting so that you can…
    – then mail your offending blogger and tell him it will be out in the open and ask for the correction again.
    – if your offending blogger is still posting (i.e. not away/incommunicado) and still doesn’t give you your correction, nail him in public.
    This hits your blogger right where it hurts – at his reputation.
    It’s roundabout and more time-consuming, but then if it is that important, perhaps it’s worth the effort.
    But it’s still not as good as getting it on the site itself.

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