Blogging as a science/art form/menace - depending on your point of view - is still in its infancy, culturally speaking. There's no official written protocol - nobody gives lessons in it; most of us are making it up as we go along.
Since recent events and journalistic opinions have highlighted the issue of integrity - or the lack of it - in the blogosphere, I though I'd set down the rule of thumb that usually governs posts here in the Tavern.
There was once a famous headmistress who instructed her pupils to ask themselves three questions before saying anything:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
It is my firm belief that a pseudonymous blogger can maintain personal integrity as long as any two of those three conditions apply.
An unkind statement - or accusation - must always be checked for accuracy and there should be a good reason for publishing it. Where there is doubt, a caveat or attribution is needed to warn readers of the fact.
An untrue statement is acceptable as long as it harms no one and there is a perceived purpose to it - which, lest we get too po-faced about it, can be to make people laugh.
And I doubt anyone would have a problem with a statement that is both true and kind, however slight the reason for including it.
In the words of Meat Loaf, "Two out of three ain't bad" - or, according to the sleevenotes of a Chinese bootleg CD, "Sixty-six percent is alright".
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