The blogosphere is often called the Wild West, largely because the freedom to express is at times used as a licence to defame. Intellectual property is often swiped. And at their worst bloggers and posters assume immunity from the laws that ensure fair comment and intent. Like any irresponsible media, the worst of the bloggers give the great bloggers a bad reputation.
A new British poll has found some backing for a code of conduct for bloggers. (Which, of course, would be different than it is for some conventional, old-style media, which operates at times without a clear code.)
The poll found that nearly three-quarters of those who have posted comments were oblivious to their legal obligations --- hardly surprising, but important as a consideration, and perhaps indicative of the need to educate those who participate.
Among bloggers themselves, there was an even divide of opinion on the need for such a code. But among Internet users, there was a stronger belief in the need for one. That, too, isn't surprising: Conventional media have often been less concerned than the audience about standards and practices.
A code wouldn't shield anyone, but it would serve to inform creators.