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What can I and can’t I write on my blog?
Why hat-tip?
Should I censor my commenters?
Should the MSM be able to take quotes from my blog out of context?

These were the TUFF questions discussed at the first session I attended at yesterday’s NC Science Blogging Conference: “Science Blogging Ethics,” led by Janet. The discussion that followed Janet’s talking points led to one great idea: A blogger’s code of ethics. More below the fold…


“Some people still see the blogosphere as the wild west,” Janet said. Which means that the laws of this wild land are few and far between. Many of the session participants compared blogging to “real” journalism, saying that the latter was generally considered more trustworthy because:

-Print/TV/Radio outlets have long-standing reputations for accurate reporting
-Print/TV/Radio outlets have fact-checking procedures to ensure accurate reporting
-Print/TV/Radio outlets have professional organizations (like the Society of Professional Journalists, or the American Society of Magazine Editors) that can set standards (like the AP style guide)

So, somebody wisely suggested, if we want to create our own blogging standards, why not start a blogging code of ethics wiki? Janet wholeheartedly agreed, and promised to ask the powers that be at scienceblogging.com to set something up. We’ll be sure to pester her for updates later this week.

In the meantime, what do you guys think should be included in such a code?

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