When the concept of “modern online diaries” (AKA blogs) was introduced in the late 1990s, it was an instant success. Blogging allowed the journalists and wannabe writers to express their views (as well as a space to vent out their frustrations) along with their knowledge and expertise for the masses to read. Not only did it help bring first-hand information on anything related to current affairs, but it also created a platform that come across as a Godsend for “freedom of speech”. Because blogging is a relatively free platform with not much regulations and checks at the moment, it is extremely important that bloggers assume some responsibility and be careful when giving out information. This comes under the realm of ethics, which might not be enforced by some legal institute but should be practiced by all bloggers for their own good as well as that of the audience. So here are five ethical rules that all bloggers must abide by and ensure that their readers receive responsible information.
( Image Credit: kuribo )
1). Do Not Mislead
With the power of social networking, blogging has gained a global dimension. Anything you write is exposed to the world at large. This is one reason why you must avoid misleading your audience. Just because you don’t agree with a political stance or you don’t support a religious group doesn’t mean that you invoke others to follow suit. There is a difference between expressing personal opinions and invoking others to follow as well. Misleading is wrong,no matter what your intentions are. Be careful of the words you write and the impact they could create.
2). Do Not Create Controversies
Many bloggers do go this malicious route. They would create tempting controversies about politics, religion, celebrities, government etc just to get a good flow of traffic. Though bloggers may think of this as unintentional harm; it could lead to issues that could be potentially dangerous for the person in question. Respect privacy and never try to form a false story around uncertain facts.
3). Do Not shareUnauthentic Information
If you’re not sure about something don’t state it in factual tone. This goes for both professional and amateur bloggers. Facts are important. Be it the price of a product or the latest statement by the US President; you have just got to reportthings the way they are. In case you’re not sure about it – research. If you still can’t find any backup evidence to support your clause, backout and let someone else a little more knowledgeable take the lead.
4). Do Not Misuse Freedom of Speech
Just because blogging is anonymous and you can write literally anything and everything, doesn’t mean you get all nasty and start misusing this freedom. People have used the so called “freedom of speech” to promote racism, fanaticism, extremism and so on. Also make sure your speech caters to the general public – which means it should be free of abusive content and must be a good read instead of “a frustrated man trying to get his voice across through verbal abuse”!
5). Do Not Disrespect Anybody’s Culture and Values
If you blog, make sure it contributes to “making the world a better place” instead of making it even more of a “living hell”. Learn to respect various cultures and traditions and do not attempt to make fun or abuse any culture/tradition/beliefs. What is commonly seen in the blogosphere is bloggers either become quite biased or culture specific. You have to understand that no matter what country you belong to, whatever you put up there on the internet will be read by anyone across the globe. So, Respect!
Blogging should be aimed to create a peaceful environment and a way to help people solve their problems. A depressed wife looking for marital solutions, a bored worker looking for some light reading, a teenage looking for current information – these are the people who will be reading your blog and if you mislead them, you’ve just contributed to making the world a more depressive place to live in!
Natasha is a marketing student and writes occasionally on topics related to Internet Marketing. You might also want to watch this video on guest blogging to learn more about myblogguest.com and how it can help you in your guest blogging endeavors.