Blog Policies

Code of Ethics

In social media and blogging, there is nothing more important than producing content that follows a code of ethics. Without it, it would be difficult to decipher the truth from opinion. I’ve adapted this ethics policy from the Blogger Code of Ethics, by From the Left.

Be Honest and Fair

  1.  Never plagiarize.
  2. Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
  3. Make certain that Weblog entries, quotations, headlines, photos and all other content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
  4. Never distort the content of photos without disclosing what has been changed. Image enhancement is only acceptable for technical clarity. Label montages and photo illustrations.
  5. Never publish information they know is inaccurate — and if publishing questionable information, make it clear it’s in doubt.
  6. Distinguish between advocacy, commentary and factual information. Even advocacy writing and commentary should not misrepresent fact or context.
  7. Distinguish factual information and commentary from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. will tell the truth.

Minimize Harm 

  1. Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by Weblog content. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
  2. Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
  3. Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of information is not a license for arrogance.
  4. Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
  5. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
    Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects, victims of sex crimes and criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.

Be Accountable 

  1. Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
  2. Explain each Weblog’s mission and invite dialogue with the public over its content and the bloggers’ conduct.
  3. Disclose conflicts of interest, affiliations, activities and personal agendas.
  4. Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence content. When exceptions are made, disclose them fully to readers.
  5. Be wary of sources offering information for favors. When accepting such information, disclose the favors.
  6. Expose unethical practices of other bloggers.
  7. Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.
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