Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ethics For Online Writers

OK, this is not going to be one of those fun, feel good messages. But it is an important one. I just receieved an e-mail from the e-Gullet Society regarding online ethics for writing, posting and sharing information on the internet. I applaud their decision to take a stand regarding these issues and I just want to help spread the word, that this is the way things should be done:

"eGullet Society announces eG Ethics code

New York, NY - 13 May 2009 The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters has published its eG Ethics code for online writers. This code, based on the eGullet Society's eight years as a leader in online food media, provides ethical guidance for bloggers, discussion-forum participants and other online writers. Signatories to the eG Ethics code agree to follow the code by submitting a web form and displaying a graphical badge or statement of compliance.Three years in the making, the eG Ethics code includes provisions covering, among other things, intellectual property, plagiarism, conflicts of interest and fact checking.

Some example provisions of the code:

Original content. All content is the original creation of the author except when clearly attributed, such as by quotation marks, citations and credits. This includes photographs.

Disclosure of comps. Where a free or discounted product or service has been accepted, a corresponding disclosure is made.

Disclosure of conflicts of interest. Where the author has a relationship with the subject of coverage beyond a casual or typical customer relationship, that relationship is disclosed. Financial and employment relationships, including those of close friends, associates and family members, will also be disclosed.

Announcing the code, eGullet Society executive director Steven Shaw commented:The internet allows anybody with access to publish globally and instantaneously. This technological advance has changed the world for the better, but overall consideration of ethics has not kept pace with technology. In addition, while there is a free and casual attitude about much online writing, many online writers don't realize that they can be held accountable for theft of intellectual property, defamation and other acts.For the complete code as well as the submission form and badges please visit

About the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

Founded in 2001, the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is an international not-for-profit education and public service organization that has grown from a handful of dedicated and like-minded individuals to a global organization with tens of thousands of members and many times more followers. It endeavors to increase awareness and knowledge of the arts of cooking, eating and drinking, as well as the literature of food and drink. Its purpose is carried out primarily through internet food media, appealing to a diverse group of professionals in the food and drink industries; food enthusiasts and amateur cooks; food and kitchen equipment producers; writers; and consumers. Not only does the Society host the premier online food and drink discussion site on the internet (eG Forums), it also offers an online cooking academy (the eGullet Culinary Institute), in-depth conversations with the movers and shakers of the food world (eG Spotlight conversations), an online literary journal (the Daily Gullet), and more. The eGullet Society sponsors scholarships for culinary students, professional cooks and food journalists, and plans further community outreach and expanded educational opportunities.

NOTE TO COPY EDITORS AND FACT CHECKERS: The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is a 501(c)(3) public charity and the URL for all eGullet Society offerings is (not .com). For more information about the eGullet Society please visit our "About" page at"

So, that is the scoop for now. Coming later today will be a post on Rib Eye Steak with Porcinni and Veal Stock reduction.


niagaragirl said...

I sometimes get email from users asking why I don't post more, like every day or multiple times per day. It's because my posts are original content, not a recipe recycled or blatantly copied off of another site.

Well some of the copiers had better get ready. The big machine over at Rachel Ray has automated content sniffers I hear, looking for copied recipes that are too similar in content. And one blogger I know recently (in the past year) received a notice from a publisher about reposting content.

I took my own pledge when starting my blog. And that's why things take so long. In the end, if the blatant repost bloggers shared their own thoughts and original ideas, it would make the web a more interesting place instead of just a rehash of recipe after recipe. Just my two cents.

Libby - At The Very Yeast

Devany said...


Thanks for commenting. I also have people ask that question and I have the same answer. Original content and photos take time. So does QUALITY!

It is up to us as bloggers and food writers to do our part. Sadly, there are and probably always will be people who cut and paste other people's work. And there are those in online groups who do it with absolute abandon, not even thinking twice about it.

I think it is great that anyone is doing something to curb the content stealing and reprinting. And you are right, it would be great if people only used original ideas, so much more interesting too!

BTW, I love your blog.


Chef E said...

This is interesting, as I just started blogging this past October; otherwise my food writing was limited, and I am trying to improve. I mostly wrote poetry, short stories, and such... I wanted my site to just be a simple share, but pressure was put on me to step up my photos and other content; which your right take a lot of time.

I do find it so hard to give the exact perfect and true information, since many of my books contradict each other, and chefs you work under have their own information. So I like it when people like you come over and share; then we get facts.

Why is it there are no photos out there of the different kinds of ferns, and they sell them over here under the pretense they are 'fiddleheads'? I guess they feel it is okay to generalize foods like that...