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Does LCB need a Code of Conduct?

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Mon Apr 09 2007

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In light of the stunning news of Kathy Sierra's terrifying experience with death threats and other horrid comments made on her blog, Creating Passionate Users, I'd like to raise the question of whether we need to draft and post a code of conduct.

Some time ago, I posted some basic guidelines for commentors in the FAQ under the question "What can or can't be posted to a comment?". I'd love feedback from any and everyone.

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Is this statement strong enough?

Does it include everything it should?

Is is alright to leave it in the FAQ?

Should I put a link to it from the sidebar?

Are there codes of conduct for other blogs we should consider? (I've seen and like Blogher's and the O'Reilly proposed blogging code of conduct)

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Should I just wait for the O'Reilly code of conduct to be finalized and use it?

Is this a tempest in a teapot and I should just forget about it?

To date, because we have had an invitation-only author team, posts have not been a problem regarding inappropriate language or threats to others. I have pulled down two posts written by authors for content that was misaligned with LCB's purpose (but unoffensive) and another for being more "novel" in length than "blog post". The only comments I have removed from LCB have been obvious spam or inadvertent duplicate comments.

But as we move toward a more open contribution model, (i.e., The Big Question) the chance of conduct offenses will rise. As blogmeister, it's helpful to have a previously published policy to point to when informing a contributor that they are in violation of that policy and I'm taking down their contribution.

I look forward to reading your thoughts. (I promise, none will be pulled down!)

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