Wednesday, June 28, 2006

4. Weblog Ethics Survey Results

As mentioned in the previous entry, the study on Weblog Ethics as conducted by the three NTU students, sought to explore ethical principles in blogging through a quantitative survey of bloggers (personal and non-personal bloggers) from around the world.

We present to you the findings of their survey results.

Findings on Weblog Ethics
Findings revealed that while personal and non-personal bloggers have some things in common in terms of their ethical beliefs and practices, there are also some distinctive differences.

For example, non-personal bloggers valued attribution and truth telling the most, but for personal bloggers, truth telling was less important than attribution and minimizing harm.

The type of ethics most practiced by the personal bloggers was minimizing harm, while the non-personal bloggers practiced truth telling, attribution, and minimizing harm equally. The personal bloggers were also less consistent in practicing the ethics they said they valued than the non-personal bloggers.

Both groups of bloggers believe attribution is the most important practice. This could be due to the nature of blogging, in which bloggers show readers links to other pages to illustrate a point or to share information.

In contrast, belief in accountability was regarded as least important by both groups of bloggers. This could be due to the perception that many regard the Internet a place where they can express their opinions without inhibition or consequences.

Findings showed that both personal and non-personal bloggers are uncertain as to whether a blogging code of ethics is needed.

As most non-personal bloggers take a journalistic approach in their writing, it seems reasonable to expect them to see a need for a blogging ethics code when compared with personal bloggers.

However, both groups of bloggers do not currently see a strong need for a blogging code of ethics. A blogging code of ethics may be more valued and adhered to when bloggers’ themselves see a stronger need for it.

Weblog Ethics Survey Results


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