Internet Community Ethics

This is a social experiment. Please share, repost and spread. What I am proposing is the creation of a community determined code of ethics for internet users. I’m not talking laws to be imposed, but guidelines the community creates, agrees to, and enforces through peer mechanisms and self-monitoring. I am going to allow this to evolve over time. To contribute, just comment. I’ll start off with some general categories to guide, but even those will change or increase with feedback.

Copyrighted materials: what is fair use as the internet would have it. How can we agree to reward real artists for their real work while not being so authoritarian that we squelch the work of developing artists? What is the fair balance between protection and access?

Bullying: How can we distinguish between humor and cruelty? How do distinguish between humorous but real criticism and debasing mockery?

Debate: How can we have a disagreement in a civil manner? What guides can we establish to allow for debate and avoid flame wars?

Dealing with anger: When have we gone too far and abused the power given to us from the internet out of revenge?

Please contribute by asking new questions, offering new categories, or offering guidelines in the comments section.

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