Thursday, February 8, 2007

Bloggers Rule or Rules for Bloggers???

Over the last couple of days, the Edward's campaign found itself in a bit of a sticky wicket. It seems that two women hired by the campaign, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, to reach out to liberal blog-world were called on the carpet by some ultra-right wingers who feigned offense at some posts on these women's own blogs. To read more about what happened and the Edward's campaign's response, check here.

The real story here is that bloggers will play a more significant role in this Presidential election than some anticipated, and it is interesting to watch how bloggers are informally and formally working to create "rules" for what began, and still very much is, an anything goes, bottom-up movement. I suspect as with most "charismatic" movements (I'm not talking about speaking in tongues here), as bloggers seek more mainstream recognition (like press credentials), formal codes of ethics will emerge. Melanie, over at Blog for Democracy posted about that last week, in fact. I also suspect that litigation will act, as it often does, to create "rules." For example, the more bloggers who are sued for libel, the more careful we will all be.

I'm interested in your thoughts about this, so, here's are a few questions to get us started:

Should people who work for a candidate or for a party blog, other than in their official capacity for the party or candidate? If they do blog, should they do so under their own name? Do you think that astroturfing is a fact of life in politics today? If you had hired someone to work on your campaign and found an offensive post on their personal blog, would you fire them?


Tina said...

If I were running a political campaign it would be important to me to have employees who would NOT create "macaca moments" either for me or themselves. Yes, people have a first amendment right to express themselves in speech and in writing (print or other media) but if their actions are damaging to the campaign, the person in charge also has a right not to sign their paychecks. Perhaps ideally one's personal life and worklife should be considered two different spheres, but in politics it doesn't happen that way.
A candidate who is seriously seeking an important political office will give hostages to fortune if he or she hires people who don't fully understand that their words and actions (off and on record) can damage the campaign.

Kathy said...

As we have witnessed just this week with the John Edwards blog...