The Ethics of Blogging

My last two posts were a brilliantly concocted plan to fool the Biblioblogging community days after they expected to be fooled.  This plan was conceived about 2 hours ago while I was in the shower.  But this gets me thinking, was it wrong for me to lie in such a blatant fashion?  Even with clearing things up and having a great big laugh, was it ok to lie like I did?  Did I violate some unwritten ethical principle of blogging?  I imagine that not a few people were heartbroken, and some probably shed tears over the news of my pseudo-departure from blogging; so what about them?  Should we have the reactions of others in mind when we write?  I don’t know.  But I think that Chris Brady and Jim West have been touching on topics related to this in the last couple of days (here, here, and here). 

I wonder if the powers-that-be should get together and establish some ethical principles for blogging (at least in our corner of the blogosphere).  I’d be very interested to hear what Drew Tatusko thinks about this.


12 thoughts on “The Ethics of Blogging

  1. I wasn’t fooled because I got all three in my Bloglines at the same time in reverse order. ha!

    I think that the ethical rules are usually established via blogroll oddly enough. We all will visually and physically associate our own material and voice with voices that we both find interesting and that fall within our own framework of what the good means in a social sense.

    One thing I appreciate about the 2.0 culture is the instantiation of volunteerism. We voluntarily associate with others. So as a test, do you voluntarily associate yourself with others’ blogs that you would deem to be clearly outside of your ethical structures of what is good and true?

    I certainly do not. I would not link to blogs or much even refer to them if the content is less than in the frame of what I thing is good or edifying. An example of this is in my post regarding the Christian carnival for today. The most provocative title went to the most heinous blog. So much so that it is not worth critique. And critique is my only exception to the rule since there I am doing the more important ethical obligation – to lead people to the sources in order to formulate their own free conclusions.

  2. Drew: I knew that would be the case. I wanted to wait until later tonight to reveal my fiendish plot, but then I feared that if I waited too long, some people would attempt to harm themselves. I know what it is to need a daily fix of (fill in the blank).

    Oh, and thanks for your thoughts on the ethics. I”m going to ponder them for a while, because I think you have touched on some important points.

  3. you ain’t right. ;-)

    Well since I am so behind lately I read this one first, then read the previous two. Nice way to get me catch up.

    Well I am glad it was a joke. But you do bring up a good point. I visit your site because there is integrity in the content of your blogs. I would not continue to visit if this basic unwritten law was broken.

  4. …would attempt to harm themselves.

    Like Drew I got all three feeds at once but I always read from the bottom up in order. In regards to your questions, I usually post with an audience in mind. I’m probably most free on your blog and Bryan L’s with my comments. My personal take on all of this is that if people take things they read on the internet too seriously, they need to re-evaluate what the internet contains.

    On a side note, my first reaction to you dropping your blog was to wonder if you were giving away any of your books. Dunno why I thought that… maybe because you were effectively dead to me?

  5. That reminds me Nathan. I remember once I was in my Pastor’s office and could not help staring at the walls of books. There were just so many. It was beautiful and all I could help thinking was I wonder what would happen to all these books if he died. I hope they would go to a loving appreciative home like mine. So I asked him and tried to convince him that it would be better for him to give his library to me instead of his daughter. I don’t know how he took that. : )


  6. Rap Fan, Charismatic- Pentecostal, Arminian, Star Wars Heretic, Action Movie Misinterpreter, and now Blog Trickster!

    Is there no end to your evil?!!

    I sincerely doubted anyone who blogs so much was going to stop cold turkey. Most people quit by degrees.

  7. Nathan: Yeah, I anticipated the feed thing, and considered updating the time stamp on the original post, but I didn’t do it. I thought that others might follow Jim West’s lead and start removing me from their blogrolls and feed readers. Then how would anyone know that it was a joke when I revealed it? I had to act fast! ;) And I am very pleased to know that you feel free to comment however you please over here.

    To the second thing, I think you’re right. It reminds me of a scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules says to Vincent in the coffee shop, “If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions…” If the stuff you come across is offensive, then you should stop deliberately coming across it.

    And to the book thing, if I ever did quit blogging, I might be persuaded to give away review books that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet, providing that whoever I gave them to would review them. Other than that, not a chance! ;)

    Bryan: Wow! What a perverse thought! I love it! ;)

    Chuck: I take that as a compliment. And speaking of blogging, when are you going to start one of your own?

  8. Blogging is too much like programming, which I loathe, despise, and generally dislike. Then there are the horror stories (see Jim West and Rick Mansfield). Then there’s my weekly Sunday School notes I compile (read *steal*) for teachers at my church.

    I stay busy enough, as is.

    Oh, I forgot to add you wear your hat the wrong way. So there!

  9. Robert: Don’t know how I missed your comment. Thank you very much. If you ever see me forsake my integrity, be sure to call me on it.

    Chuck: I’ve never programmed so your analogy is basically meaningless to me. ;) And the way I wear my hat, is the way that hats were made to be worn. All one has to do is read the instructions that come with hats to know that. :-P

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