Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blog with Integrity

Whilst making my way around the net today, I came across a reference to the "Blog with Integrity" pledge.  After reading the pledge closely, I knew it was something I wanted to associate myself with.  

Blog with Integrity"By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me.
I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people.  I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas.
I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.
I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices.  My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising should I choose to have it.  If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked.
When collaborating with maketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by journalistic standards.
I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.
I own my words.  Even if I occasionally have to eat them."

I like the whole concept of this pledge, but I especially like item #2---and I'd like to briefly explain why; we bloggers (both posters and commenters) seem to have no trouble defending our rights to freedom of speech, but on more than one occasion, I've seen freedom of expression abused, as lively debate has been used as opportunity to allow politesse degenerate into personal attack and as people have used the right to an opinion as an excuse for insensitive and hurtful words/posts.  This suggests the blogging community needs to work harder to help fellow members see the difference between engaged discussion and debate, and irrational hate-mongering.  Yes, I believe blogging should be about beautiful, positive, and happy things.  However, I think it can also be a potentially wonderful way for people to learn from one another and think critically about a number of relevant social issues. In order for meaningful exchange to occur, some things may need to change in the blog-o-sphere.  To this end, here are my thoughts:
1) Blog commenters who come across posts they disagree with should have the right to express "respectful disagreement" with IDEAS or arguments or opinions that may be expressed by fellow bloggers. If said commenters have expressed themselves in a "respectful" way, then, in disagreeing with a fellow blog poster, they should have the right to be free from other bloggers (esp. friends and family of said blog poster) "bad mouthing," attacking, or otherwise berating them.
2) Blog posters who post on topics that are some what contentious or debate-ridden should have the right to be FREE of personals attacks by anonymous posters spreading hateful name calling or personal threats, etc (provided that they themselves have avoided needlessly clouding issues/topics/debates with inflammatory statements designed to personally humiliate, offend, or belittle other people who hold positions contrary to theirs).  
3) I very strongly believe that bloggers who open the door to contentious or very loaded topics have an obligation to readers to "welcome respectful disagreement with [their] own ideas."   
I find it especially problematic when we vintage bloggers bemoan an appalling decline of  elegance, tastefulness, and beauty in the appearances of people in the modern age, but then choose to ignore how our online words or "actions" may be conveying a level of social "ugliness" that makes any talk of elegance, tastefulness, and beauty redundant.  Let's not just look the part. Let's walk the walk and blog with integrity.


Evie said...

Beautiful sentiment!

Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

I couldn't agree more! I've actually stopped following a lot of blogs because I was tired of all of the ugliness, negativity and immature behavior I've seen. I love to blog because my blog (and so many other blogs that I read) are my happy place. I know that if I have a rough day or I'm feeling down and bummed out, I can log on and look at beautiful things and meet fascinating people. I especially agree with the part about being able to express disagreement in a kind way without being judged and torn down for it. I hope that more people take this pledge too. I know I will! Thank you for sharing! xoxo

Rachel said...

I believe everyone should follow those rules. Not just in their blogs, but in every day lives.

Lauren said...

This is great and I agree wholeheartedly!

art deco dame said...

Fully concur!

Eileen said...

I completely agree. The world would be a much more civil place if everyone listened with an open mind and refrained from insulting others they disagreed with. Our political discourse in the United States has fallen so far down the civility scale it's embarrassing. I know that some of the old customs needed to go so that women and others could advance, but I sincerely wish we'd held on to the manners part. My grandmothers and mother were all very intent that my sister and I learn how to behave like ladies and how to do certain things properly - which fork to use, allow elders to sit, don't speak over others, write thank you notes, etc. It all seemed a bit silly growing up, but now I am eternally grateful they passed those things down.

BaronessVonVintage said...

thanks for your thoughts....I agree with you Rachel! Bella, seems like this is an issue outside the US, as well. I had a similar upbringing. My grandparents were basically my second set of parents (I spent every weekend with them...many of the values they taught me, especially the importance of courtesy, thoughtfulness, compassion, patience, and so forth are definitely on the decline in our age).

LandGirl1980 said...

Applause! Applause!!! :)

Kate said...

Very well said! I completely agree.

Diva said...

Well said Baroness!

Charlotte said...

I think I must have been living in a cosy little bubble recently because I think a lot of the blog-hate stuff that I've been hearing about has completely passed me by! That said, I wholeheartedly agree with this pledge.

xx Charlotte
Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

avintagespirit (Lizzy) said...

Lucky you! A surprise snow day is always a wonderful thing. Your dress looks lovely so far, I love the fabric, such great colors.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging with integrity. I couldn't agree more. I believe in free speech, but people really cross the line sometimes. Some people have no manners anymore these days. Ladies and gentlemen often don't act the part ;)