Abuses, threatens and nasty comments happen in a daily basis on blogs all around the world. To avoid this kind of situations, bloggers could use some limits to have an appropriate use of their blogs, both by their selves and by anyone visiting.
However, note that the advices given should vary from blog to blog according to the topics and purposes of the blogs; and it would be a blog manager decision to follow all, some or none of them.
Here there are few advices/tips for the well going of your blog:
1. Your responsibility: Every blogger has a responsibility for the content made by their selves on their blog. However, the comments must be mentioned apart.
According to the lawyer Kraig Baker, there is not liability for the comments that individuals unconnected to the management of the blogs make. However, this does not mean that blog runners cannot be blamed at all. Is a bloggers work not only to post suitable content but to manage the comments received. With that it is referred to making every visitor, does not matter if it is a time to time or usual visitor, feel comfortable and safe.
If it is legally or not, a blogger does have liability for his/her posts, comments and even the tone of the sentences for both cases.
2. Difference between censorship and standards: Censorship on the blog sphere it is understood as deleting or editing comments with the aim of attempting on the freedom of speech. On the other hand, standards are the limits decided by the bloggers that mark the boundary between the acceptable and unacceptable behavior in their blog.
Although standards are personal and might change from blog to blog, these are some common unacceptable conducts in a blog (literary taken from here):
- Being used to abuse, harass, stalk, threaten person(s)
- Libelous, defamatory, knowingly false or misrepresents another person
- Infringes upon any copyright, trademark, trade secret or patent of any third party
- Violates any obligation of confidentiality
- Violates the privacy, publicity, moral or any other right
- Contain editorial content that has been commissioned and paid for by a third party
For more information click here
3. Deleting comments: if the need of deleting a comment appears due to the violation of any of the points above or any other stated by the blog manager, do it. Also, tell you did so and explain why (markers for these explanations somewhere in the blog would be a good idea according to Tim O´Reilly).
However, caution with this point. First, bloggers should make standards available (by an image or link to the post of the standards). This is important for the visitor to be aware of the performance expected from him/her in the blog. Secondly, only when it is a justified delete it should be done, never for purposes for the convenience of the blogger.
Also ignore trolls. There will always be people trying to fight publicly about anything and the delete of posts could give the best excuse to them to do so; but the public fight will just have unfortunate consequences to the blog of the blogger.
To help with the well management in this aim, moderation mechanisms could be a great help. In last term, there is always the recourse of banning the IP addresses of the violators of the guidelines.
4. Anonymous comments. Tricky aspect here. Meanwhile anonymity it is very necessary under certain situations, for instance, because of the repression of an authoritarian regime; usually it is used as a way of express inappropriately with no furhter consequences.
Even some governments are thinking on performing in this issue, by now this is still a blog decision. If the blog topic makes necessary the non-authentication for comments (if, for example, is a blog focused on inform against a war or crimes against the civil rights), then it will be up to the manager of the blog and his standards which ones delete and which ones to be visible.
If the topic of the blog does not make necessary this recourse for the free expression, then bloggers should consider whether using this tool or not.
5. If you know someone that is not behaving properly on internet tell her/him so. It is not necessary to know any standards or law to know when someone is doing something wrong and to know the repercussions it could have.
If you doubt if your attitude have been correct or in the future when you want to comment anything, as Tim O´Reilly said in his blog, remember:
“DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ONLINE YOU WOULD NOT SAY IN PERSON!”
The lack of legislation on blog terms makes the well going of a blog a personal decision of the manager of this communication system, it will be his or her responsibility to sit down and think on what kind of blog he or she wants to run and the consequences on having a blog could have and making standards according to this. If this mesures are not taken, they will risk their blogs to nasty episodes of hatred or abuse.
For the users is as easy as to follow standards when given or rationality and logic when not. Internet is probably the freest “place” in the world but remember that someone´s freedom ends where another individual’s freedom starts. Harassing, threatening or abusing are not acceptable conducts neither in real nor online life.
Tim O´Reilly. (2012). Call for a Blogger’s Code of Conduct. Retrieved from http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/03/call-for-a-bloggers-code-of-co.html