As we read this Gizmodo and iPhone story last week, we wondered if bloggers aren’t held to the same types of moral codes and responsibilities that other media professionals are. Gizomdo, in case you didn’t hear, got off scot-free for somehow ending up with an iPhone 4 prototype and then blogging about it. When the story broke last spring, it seemed like the authorities who thoroughly searched editor Jason Chen’s home were being a bit harsh on the tech writer who was, in fact, just giving his readers what they wanted. While we still think the whole hubbub was overblown (it’s just a phone, people) we’re starting to wonder if in this post-Assange era of blogger responsibility actually exists.
Since the early days of blogging, the questions of moral codes and ethics have swirled around the medium. How can we hold people who write blogs in their bathrobes to these kind of high-falutin’ ideals? The answer is that we can’t — nor should we want to. Good writing, good values and good taste, however, shouldn’t be out of the equation. We would like to think that bloggers would be naturally inclined to write only the truth or write things that aren’t intentionally hurtful. And sure, bloggers should be personally responsible for the content they put out into the blogosphere, but all of that is totally unrealistic. The best any blog can do is speak the truth of the blogger or organization behind it. This is doubly true when it comes to business and company blogs. While the biggest crime most company blogs commit is murder by boredom, there is a responsibility to create content that doesn’t muck up the Internet with crappy quality. Our blogging output, while not expected to be an example of moral excellence, should at the very least add something to someone’s day.
But let’s turn this heady moral discussion over to you, readers. Does blogger responsibility exist? And if so, what is it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!