Monday, August 13, 2007

Use common sense, taste when using the Internet

I have not printed a comment sent to me by a blogger. I want to make my view clear to the blogger and to anyone who wishes to read:

The Internet is a place where communication is easily facilitated in the widest manner possible. Where such ability exists there should, through the necessity of common sense and good taste, be some form of personal restraint.

As a journalist by trade, the first thing I made it my business to understand was appropriate laws and major case precedent involving libel and defamation (where it involves New Jersey). Beyond being a reporter, it has been a usual editorial duty to offer comment on public events and situations for about a decade in print (maybe a bit more including another paper I used to edit in Ocean County).

Long story short: If you are using the Internet, use your head. Regardless of whether or not your comments are linked to your "real identity," any blogger or anyone can be held accountable to their comments Online. The Internet is not someplace where personal accountability does not exist. Yes, there was an accountability gap for a time, and now that is getting sorted out in the courts.

Consequently, I will not facilitate nonsense on my blog. I will post opinions that differ from mine, but not tripe. If someone is under the impression I have done anything wrong insofar as my ability to offer fair comment, then use what remedies are available (I am more than comfortable with that). In the meantime, keep yourself out of trouble by knowing the left and right bounds of what you can and cannot do.

It seems to me that once people start going down a certain road, they end up getting themselves in trouble and making it look as bad as one can. Most people will not make anything out of bloggers or posters using poor judgment, and then there are those who will.

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