Forced Blogger Etiquette?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Apr 12, 2007 9:26 AM

Calls for bloggers to sign some sort of "civility code" are dangerous and inconsistent with the spirit of the blogosphere and Free Enterprise. While modern technology has created some problems, conservatives, especially, should be glad for the ability to communicate via blogs, talk radio, and cable TV. It wasn't that long ago that conservative thought was, in many ways, censored by the mainstream media. So forgive us if we aren't excited about the idea of relinquishing it -- even voluntarily.

Of course, the code is meant to stop "abusive" speech. But who determines what is abusive? Is hard-ball politics abusive? Some believe it is -- and that's the fundamental problem -- because political speech (even if it's "negative") must be protected at all cost (for the same reason, I oppose campaign finance reform). 

This reminds me of an ongoing debate within the political consultant class. In the past, the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) wanted to require political consultants to be certified. (Right now, anyone and everyone can say they are a political consultant -- so there are definitely lots of unscrupulous -- and unqualified -- people in the business). My take has always been that regulation is bad and that the Free Market will do a better job at rewarding success than the government ever could.

One good thing to come out of this discussion is that, it seems, conservative and liberal bloggers all agree it's a bad idea...