As I type this, I am supposed to be in San Diego, delivering a workshop at the ETech conference. But I’m not. I’m at home, with the doors locked, terrified. For the last four weeks, I’ve been getting death threat comments on this blog. But that’s not what pushed me over the edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and sex posted on two other blogs… blogs authored and/or owned by a group that includes prominent bloggers.
Death threats and vulgar, repulsive photoshopped images. Such a nice world we’re living in, eh?
Women in the public sphere — and particularly in the political / social blogosphere — are frequently subjected to this crap (see Malkin, Michelle), but it’s worth pointing out that Kathy Sierra blogs in the technical world… not the first area the comes to Polimom’s mind for such outrageous attacks.
Clearly, this sickness has permeated every level of society.
There’s a lot of discussion and debate online about Kathy’s post — as there always is. Most are outraged, some are defensive… and as usual, in spite of the ever-more-obvious scope and severity of the problem, nothing will change.
The anonymity of this medium, of course, means that these vile minds could easily be your neighbors and co-workers — that they’re singing hymns with you in church, or pawing through the produce in the grocery store right beside you, or waiting in line behind you to pick up a kid from soccer practice.
Are you good with that, or does it worry you?
Cuz it worries me. In fact, every time I read a bizarre story like this, or about a vicious crime like this, I wonder whether one of those depraved “anonymous” writers has abruptly gone offline for awhile, having finally crossed the line from fantasy to reality.
And people wonder why I blog with a pseudonym…