Keep your code of conduct out of my communication medium, thank you kindly

Let’s be clear, here: There are trolls everywhere.

On the letters to the editor pages of our newspapers, on every daytime television talk show, not to mention most hours of cable news, at the table next to us at the coffee shop, the halls of Congress, and yes, in the blogosphere.

These trolls are people who want our attention, and will say nasty things to get it, even if it is negative attention.

This is not breaking news.

And yet, after an episode of what I will only describe as an online display of malice beyond what many people say they find acceptable, regardless of what they watch on television, there is an outcry for a “Blogger’s Code of Conduct.”

To which I say, thank you kindly for thinking of all us little folk out here in the wilderness living nasty brutish lives in an online state of nature, but we can figure out for ourselves how to be nice to one another. The marketplace of ideas on the Web is vast enough that anyone looking for malice can find it if they choose to, and anyone looking to avoid it can do the same.

So take your code of conduct, your rules for civility, your attitude, and your badges, and politely shove them back in the regulatory cave of conduct.

I’ll be out here in the real world, without a badge or a license or a rulebook, communicating freely.

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