With the evident convergence of traditional media and novel online technologies, it has been argued that there is the need for bloggers to be bound by a code of ethics. It is estimated that there are over 100 million blogs focusing on diverse issues; hence, it becomes necessary try and regulate the content. Below are the top five basic ethics for bloggers.
A blogger needs to be able to tell the difference between truths and opinions. The truth should be prioritized where evidence is presented and opinion flagged as such. Accuracy should be observed at all stages starting with gathering, interpreting and, finally, reporting. The source of information should be reliable when it comes to providing accurate and up-to-date information. Generally, a blogger should be able to differentiate between opinions and factual information. Immediate corrections should be done and this calls for timely interactivity between reporters and sources.
If a blog deals in personal opinions, gossip, speculations, it should be clearly marked as such. There is the need to be transparent and open about any personal associations that may suggest conflict of interest. An ethical bloggers should avoid taking money in exchange for creating positive reviews about an individual, product or business. If the blogger is posting questionable information, there is the need to indicate that the information is in doubt. If any visual material has been altered in any way, there should be an indication of what has been changed.
An ethical blogger should be aware that some materials and ideas can be offensive and he or she should be able to deal with it prudently. Whether it is a controversial or offensive material, the blogger can declare that he or she does not agree with nor tolerate the material content and that the reference is only made to make a point or stand up for that material. In case the content is questionable, cautious use of hyperlinks should be observed.
- Consider possible consequences of each post
While it is good to stand for what one believes in, an ethical blogger should consider the effects that such content could have. While weblog gives everyone a voice in the cyberspace, the voice should be used responsibly. An ethical blogger in this case is one who strives to minimize harm to other people interacting with his content. The golden rule “treat others as you wish to be treated” should be upheld as a virtue.
The problem of materials duplication is not only common in academia. There has been a case of plagiarism in various blogs and this has been marked as an unethical act. With the wide array of information as well as opinions on the internet, it has become harder to catch culprits of this vice. Nevertheless, an ethical blogger should always strive to present own ideas at all times. In case some information or data has been borrowed, it is important to give credit to the source or author. An ethical blogger can also provide a link to the original materials and then proceed to make his or her point known.
With these guidelines, you are one step closer to becoming an ethical and professional blogger. Adopting these ethical standards will make you come out as proficient, authentic and respectable.
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