A while ago, I wrote a piece about why snark is the mindkiller, and how it’s wrecking online discourse and discussion. I stand by that point, and still believe it entirely.
Sadly, civil conversation and intelligent discussion is a trait that’s lost on the Web in many places, but CiviliNation is a grassroots campaign dedicated to bringing it back. They consider online discourse and the ability to speak your mind freely on the Internet without fear of persecution by opposition or government a human rights issue, whether it’s a child sharing their opinions on the Internet being able to do so without worrying their friends at school will make them pay for it in the halls the next day, or a state attempting to censor the free and open exchange of ideas between people of different beliefs or opinions. Their mission:
CiviliNation’s mission is to foster an online culture where individuals can fully engage and contribute without fear or threat of abuse.
It’s a lofty goal, but the organization is already working on getting there. For one, they’re already a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and they’ve started collecting and offering guest speakers to colleges, Universities, and other organizations to discuss the importance of civil discussion in all circles, especially on the Internet.
They also have quite the list of names behind them as well:
CiviliNation was founded by attorney Andrea Weckerle. The Board of Directors includes Andrea Weckerle, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Gina Smith (investigative journalist and technology expert), and James P. Clark (CEO of the World Technology Network)
So that’s what Jimmy Wales has been up to! Anyway, civility on the Web is an important issue – no one’s telling you that you can’t be snarky, and no one’s telling you that you can’t express yourself bombastically or humorously, but CiviliNation’s mission is to make sure we all do in a way that encourages – not squashes – more people to be heard.
[ CivilNaiton ]