Setting those aside, since the decision has already been made to adopt the code and the only open questions are ones of specific wording, let me address the specific concerns you raise.
Respect for intellectual property. All text, photos and other media from outside sources is republished only with the explicit permission of its owner or in compliance with an applicable license (e.g., Creative Commons), with the exception of brief quotations from written works in the context of discussing those works.
Is there a reason that this is much more stringent than fair use?
I don't agree that it's "much more stringent" but, in any event, we're creating a code of ethics not a code of law. Law and ethics are, needless to say, not the same thing. The laws of intellectual property may or may not respect original creation as much as the eG Ethics code does.
Links where credit is due. Where the creator of content referenced on this website has made it possible to link to that content, a link is given here. Where books are referenced, links are provided to allow purchase. In general, links are favored over reproduction of content.
I do not see the point of this. If, for example, I am writing something critical of a book that I do not believe deserves to be purchased, why should I link to a place to purchase it?
This was discussed above and a change is being made.
Also, for individual users, how does this fit with policies like those here at the eGullet forums where reproduction of content is preferred rather than linking back to ones own blog?
I don't understand the relevance of that situation. Content under one's own control is clearly a different species.
Disclosure of comps. Where a free or discounted product or service has been accepted, a corresponding disclosure is made.
Presumably only if you are writing about that product or service, yes? If someone sends me something unsolicited and I do not write about it, I should not be required to disclose that they sent me something.
Yes, one would only need to make a disclosure where relevant.
Fair comment. This website allows registered users to comment on the content contained herein. Free and fair comment will be permitted so long as it is civil and conforms to this website's terms of service, including this document.
Not all websites should be required to allow comments.To say otherwise presumes a great deal about the purpose of that site. Moreover, "free" comment is ambiguous. What about comment moderation? By my account, eGullet does not allow free comment, there is a process that needs to be gone through before the ability to comment is granted.
Not all websites are required to allow comments, but the eG Ethics code won't work for those that don't allow comments. The code doesn't require unfettered comment. It allows for limits such as terms of service, registration and a requirement of civility. But it does require that there be a mechanism for fair comment.
Fact checking. The author of any factual statement on this website has made a good-faith effort to confirm the accuracy of that statement. Statements of opinion, however, are just that.
What about websites that are intentionally tongue-in-cheek? What about those that take an outrageous tone? As long as they are up-front about these things, is that a problem?
Satire doesn't constitute a factual claim, so no that wouldn't be a problem.
Faithfulness to the historical record. This site has an edit window of X minutes to permit correction of typographical, spelling, attribution and minor errors. Neither this window nor administrative powers will be used to remove or alter content in a way that distorts the historical development of any content, except when the terms of service have been violated. Even then, due care will be taken to restore the content so as to preserve the record.
Say I have a popular blog post on a topic. I find out that a fact in that blog post is incorrect. Shouldn't I update it?
In most cases the best way to update an older post is to leave the post intact and add something along the lines of a parenthetical ("edited to add"). There are also situations where there needs to be a full edit, such as removal of an intellectual property violation. The final version has some language changes to make this all more clear.
Revision. This code will be revised, updated and clarified from time to time. The latest version of the code along with elaboration and discussion can be found at LINK.
This is problematic unless you maintain earlier versions as well and allow people to sign on to a specific version. Someone might sign on to 1.0 - but not be willing to follow the changes that you make between 1.0 and 2.0. Retaining them as a signatory to the updated code would be unethical.
All versions will be maintained and dated, and those who feel they can no longer comply with an updated version are asked to remove the badge.