In support of a Bloggers’ Code of Ethics

Dharmendra Yadav wrote an article for TODAY calling for bloggers to “self-regulate” by way of a code of ethics. I support this idea as articulated by Yadav and Aaron Ng. My reasons are found in my comments here and here.

Aaron has taken the initiative to draft out a code of ethics for consultation here. I hope all of Singapore blogosphere (bloggers and readers alike) would take some time to look through this draft code and give your comments and suggestions.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

2 thoughts on “In support of a Bloggers’ Code of Ethics”

  1. Are we doing this simply because Singaporean bloggers feel a need to appease the govt?

    Blogging has the anarchic element to it – which is the inherent philosophy of the Internet.

    There is no reason why anyone should want to conform to this code of ethics. Thats the whole idea in the first place – sticking your finger at the “Man”, anti-establishment..right?

    Al we have to do – if a blog becomes irreverent, too inflammatory, just stop going there. Stop reading. Criticise that blog in your own blog. post a comment, if you feel strongly.

    Eg – Michael Moore, with his movies, books and blogs. Not everybody agree with him. His “journalism” is not the most fair. But what do the govt do? let him say his piece. Other pro-Bush come out with books of their own, etc. they didnt shut him down. They didnt get govt bodies to shut him down.

    That is how matured, civic societies handle differing opinions.

    Aygee

  2. Hi Aygee,

    I fully agree with your last two paras about Michael Moore and mature societies. In fact, I wrote a letter to ST Forum about 4 years ago to argue that principle.

    In Singapore, if a blog becomes too inflammatory, we commoners can stop visiting. But the police will track down the blogger through his IP address and charge him (it’s usually a ‘him’). We’ve already seen 3 examples of that in the past year.

    I’m not arguing for self-censorship of blogs. That’s the last thing I want to see. And I don’t think we’re trying to “appease” the govt (as in angkat or suck up). In fact, I think I’ll support a Code even more if Singapore didn’t free speech restrictions.

    We (bloggers who support a Code) are just explicitly stating the principles that we are already abiding by, just to assure those not in blogosphere (i.e. the majority of people in Singapore) that we are not “full of clever propaganda, inflammatory opinions, half-truths and untruths” which are “not always easily countered by rational refutation or factual explanation”. Whether or not you agree, this is the establishment’s view about bloggers (see my earlier post).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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