Tim O'Reilly, the man behind Web 2.0, has called for a code of conduct for bloggers. The suggestion is a response to extreme and anonymous cyber-bullying directed against his friend Kathy Sierra.
I sympathise entirely, and I much prefer self-regulation to legal obligation - but I'm not sure what a code of conduct is supposed to achieve. There's already a perfectly decent voluntary code of conduct; it's called good manners! If people have so little respect for others that they're prepared to send anonymous death threats and offensive pictures, what good will a voluntary code do?
In the Independent, Terence Blacker suggests that malicious behaviour on the net simply reflects the fact that there are some rather unpleasant people out there. Short of a compulsary niceness test when setting up a new blog, there's not much we can do about it!