One of the interesting side effects of debates emanating from Web 2.0 public collaboration is the level of bitching that abounds in our little on-line universe. It occurs in all sorts of places and for all sort of reasons. Wikis, especially those which attempt to be authoritative, are often prone to competitive entries (or even vandalism) vying to be the definitive entry (look at the edit histories for this piece over a few days).
Blogs often contain attacks that are highly personal. The recent hoo-ha (see example) surrounding OOXML ratification has generated many personal attacks and some abuse. This serves as a good (bad?) example. It would not take me long to find quite a few others both in and around technology and other realms (the US presidential electoral process spawns many of these acrimonious diatribes).
So what’s the point ? I believe that Collaboration 2.0 is inherently constructive however like all things man-made there is a down-side. Virtual “tourettes syndrome” does not show any of us in the best light and at worst our technology becomes a breeding ground for the worst kinds of bigot anyone could find.
I think the time is right for a US-style web constitution
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”,
I may disagree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it.