Blog Ethics Reviewed
TechCrunch fired an employee and put its UK branch on hold. But that’s not the whole story. The real stink of it is they deleted a post that was made by the disgruntled employee after he was fired.
Coincidentally that reminded me of a conversation that I was following over at Copyblogger. A commenter criticized the writer and accused him of possible plagiarism:
Methinks copyblogger is running out of ideas and pulling out the self-help books. So here’s another tip. Recycle all those textbooks that are collecting dust in your bookshelves.
The writer reacted with sarcasm and calling the commenter “snarky”. The commenter replied by saying that copyblogger could call him whatever names he wanted to, but in his opinion he had read similar information elsewhere and asked why there were no links to the original source(s).
So the next day I went back to read the reply but all of the comments had mysteriously disappeared. In my opinion the commenter was not rude and he asked a legitimate question. A reasonable question deserves a reasonable response and I see no reason why the comments were deleted.
Now I don’t know if the allegations were true (and I guess we will never know), but I can’t help but wonder where all this is headed. Have our fragile egos become so enlarged that we are ruling our blogs like tyrannical despots? Rulers of our petty little kingdoms, only allowing comments that should happen to agree with us and expunging the naysayers?
Or even worse, shutting off comments altogether like some a-listers have. I can’t help but appreciate the irony. When they were unknown bloggers vying for our attention they thrilled at the number of comments they received. But after they made the grade our opinions were no longer of any interest to them.
They have a word for that — it’s called hypocrisy. It’s called arrogance. It’s called spouting propoganda. It’s a sermon from the mount, a monologue vs. a dialogue, a speech vs. a town hall meeting. (You get my meaning).
Is this Iran, perhaps? I hope not. The Blogosphere is (or was) the ultimate expression of freedom of speech, and when we start interfering with that we are doomed for sure. Remember the word “transparency”?
But in my view this poses an even larger dilemma. With the increasing pressure to produce posts every day I’ve often suspected that many so-called pro bloggers are looking beyond the internet to printed materials for their inspiration, but they are not referencing their sources as they should be.
Similar reading: On The Importance of Linking