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Friday, October 28, 2005

More blogging ethics questions

Ethan's post below stirred the following reactions and question: I think if you take down a post entirely, that's fine--the only issue is if people have linked to it, in which case they might be viewed as nutty for linking to a dead post.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to leave the link alive and alter it or indicate that you've thought better of it, and now, you want to retract and remove what you said earlier.  I think if you leave the post and alter it substantively (by taking a position 180 degrees to the opposite) then you should include an update that this post has been altered upon better judgment; I don't think it's necessary to leave the previous material available for all to see.  I don't think updates are warranted for changing spelling, grammar, etc.

I think another interesting blogging question is what can/ought we blog about that happens in our off-line lives?  For example, the other day Kaimi blogged on Co-Op about Orly Lobel's presentation at TJSL.  It was all good publicity so no harm, perhaps no foul?  I have so far refrained from blogging about papers in progress or presentations, though they are out there in the public.  Should we refrain? People do often live-blog public presentations--are faculty presentations different?  I assume most people prefer the default rule that if you're going to blog about something that happened in real life, then you should either secure the person's permission or at least remove any identifying characteristics.  The latter might be hard to do of course, especially if you want to respect the academic norm of attributing credit/responsibility for ideas.  Thoughts? 

Posted by Administrators on October 28, 2005 at 02:48 PM in Blogging | Permalink


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I believe that it is perfectly fine to blog about a person's paper presentation or a conference. I draw the line at personal conversations. But a paper presentation is an academic event, and I don't see any reason why it would be inappropriate to mention the academic's name. And, besides, folks are readily identifiable from their works and topics. So if I wrote that an unnamed professor talked about shaming sanctions and the beauty of retribution, most people would know whom I'm talking about. I think that the norm clearly would be to identify the speaker rather than to anonymize.

Posted by: Daniel Solove | Oct 28, 2005 5:33:04 PM

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