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The Rule of Blog

Rules of Engagement for bloggers

Everyone over at Blackfive.net is doing a good job of dealing with the Scott Thomas Beauchamp situation, so I'm not sure that more needs to be said.

But I'd like to suggest some "rules of engagement" for bloggers who for any reason need to keep their real name out of the public eye. And if I fail to follow these rules on future blog entries, feel free to question me.

1) Opinions should be well expressed. Don't misrepresent opinions as facts. Facts should be documented. For example, a legitimate story about the mistreatment of a contractor should begin: On Friday July X, a female contractor from company Y ate her lunch with the troops from A battalion. Core details should be verifiable even if it's more difficult to verify specific words or actions.

2) Allegations of misconduct should have documented PRIOR routing to appropriate authorities: "I sent a letter to X department on July Y and Z and they did not respond."

3) Make an effort to get inside the heads of the people you discuss, and make it clear to your readers that these are your best guesses of what these people think, not verified facts.

4) Don't betray the people who trust you. They'd better know that you disagree with them before you expose them to the world's censure.

5) Remember you are not the all-wise. No matter what you've experienced, your opinions may be proved wrong. Research and swallow your pride accordingly.

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