Understanding a Writer’s Responsibility on the Web

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by Marion Marks

Establishing a web identity and posting comments online is more than just writing words on a webpage. Each character placed in the digital sphere is resonated through any number of portals and imprinted on far more screens than you might believe. Just because someone doesn’t respond to your post doesn’t mean they have not cast their eyes on it and your thoughts aren’t filtered through countless systems.

Before we had today’s easy web postings, the case for tracking the impact of the written word could be more closely measured and analyzed.  Today’s digital postings are bounced through hundreds of screens, rebroadcast on other blogs through the “Copy & Paste” mold as well as quoted innumerable times through other sites.

Recent comments, both on other sites and social media have been distressing to me personally and to my company. My company chose to host the blog for the Bob Forward Committee and Forward-Now.com because I personally believe this group, and each member individually that I know, has the integrity to impact problems that Louisiana and Shreveport, in particular, must confront to grow and prosper. I have not seen the racist or bitter streak that others have cast upon them as a group or any individual. I have addressed concerns, as I could, and believe that due diligence will be the order for any article published.

However, if we continue to bicker, as many of you have shown we are capable of in our address to recent writings, we will fail to grow and mature as a responsible community must to overcome the many problems in our path. I will personally sign my name to articles, as I write them. I will respect the anonymous nature of this blog, as there are many well-respected blogs that do not carry the name of authors of all posts. And they have outstanding writers!

Should you chose to disregard future posts, that is always your right. Should you take exception to what is written, that is also your right. But as you have rights, you also have responsibilities.

I ask that you show some civility in your writing. I have been asked to moderate the responses to some of the articles, and I cannot nor will I publish most of the filth that is written. Additionally, I ask that you feel free to post questions to articles, and I will try to get them answered as quickly as I am able.

As far as practices for civil discourse, I am trying to use the American Society of News Editors protocol for Social Media – found here:

http://asne.org/portals/0/publications/public/10_Best_Practices_for_Social_Media.pdf

Please post questions and comments in an acceptable format and we will try to treat you with the digity that we feel appropriate for the format we are trying to promote.

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