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September 08, 2005

To Link or To De-link?

This afternoon, Joe Jervis, at Joe.My.God., whipped up some excitement on a useful theme: how responsible is a blogger for the content of blogs to which the blogs listed in his blog roster link? Let's say that you link to MyFriend@x.com, and that whoever runs that site lists a link to DisgustingPorn@y.com. Are you under some sort of obligation to de-link MyFriend? That's Joe's question.

As it happened, I was sitting at the desk when Joe posted the entry, and mine comment is at the top of the list. But I'll copy it here anyway, lest Joe get tired of carrying it around some day.

In theory, everybody's linked to everybody. The question would be how closely. I would not aim for a one-size-fits-all rule here.

Before de-linking the intermediate blog, which presumably still interests you, examine links other than the one that bothers you. Check to see if the intermediate blogger has other blogs, with other personalities. If you're okay with most of the links, then leave the intermediate blog on.

This really is an immense cocktail party, where nobody is host and everybody invites himself. I frankly prefer the idea of knowing, via links, that unpleasant things are going on elsewhere, to allowing an abscess to mushroom out of sight.

The last time I looked, most comments were of the same mind. Many suggested something that I left out: at least for the time being, every blogger has the right to his or her own policy. Which mostly amplifies the negative answer to Joe's question.

Posted by pourover at September 8, 2005 06:25 PM


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