Feeds

Jimbo asks online folk to play nice, be civil

Wiki one derides rude, abusive web surfers

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The co-founder of Wikipedia is once again calling on internet surfers to adopt good manners online.

Jimmy Wales co-wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal yesterday in which he griped about "carelessly rude to the intentionally abusive" behaviour on social networking sites, blogs and forums.

And - for Jimmy and his legal and communications sidekick Andrea Weckerle at least - such an attitude displayed online simply just isn't cricket.

To prove their point, Wales and Weckerle created a new website dubbed CiviliNation in late October. Which is a clever Web 2.0 play on the words civilisation and nation, innit.

"Flare-ups occur on social networking sites because of the ease by which thoughts can be shared through the simple press of a button. Ordinary people, celebrities, members of the media and even legal professionals have shown insufficient restraint before clicking send," opined Wales.

"The comments sections of online gossip sites, as well as some national media outlets, often reflect semi-literate, vitriolic remarks that appear to serve no purpose besides disparaging their intended target. Some sites exist solely as a place for mean-spirited individuals to congregate and spew their venomous verbiage."

The Wiki one also adopted a more serious stance about what he described as a "vastly underreported" phenomenon of adults suffering hostility online.

Wales reckoned that "victims" failed to confront such behaviour because it was so commonplace and even "acceptable" on the interwebs.

"The problem of online hostility, in short, shows no sign of abating on its own. Establishing cybercivility will take a concerted effort," he said.

According to Jimbo, there's too much nastiness flying around on the internet and he wants that culture to change. He's also convinced that in the real world everyone understands what is "appropriate face-to-face communication."

Now the interwebulator needs its own code of conduct too. Wales is calling on web curtain twitchers to no longer suffer in silence about the "degeneration of online civility".

"Targets of online hostility should also consider coming forward to show that attacks can have serious consequences. There are already several documented cases of teens taking their own lives because of cyberbullying," he soberly noted.

Of course, his plight to see the internet freed of abusive naysayers across the globe also requires the right kind of schooling too.

"People need to know how to differentiate between information that is published on legitimate sites that follow defined standards and also possibly a professional code of ethics, and information published in places like gossip sites whose only goal is to post the most outrageous headlines and stories in order to increase traffic." [He really said that? ed]

"People can and will learn to shun and avoid such sites over time, particularly with education about why they are unethical," said Jimbo.

Add to that a "national support network" for adults who suffer hostility online plus a rethink about the current legal system, and bingo: Wales - in his head at least - has created a Utopian vision of "your friendly bobby" internet. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?