Taking the week off

I’m physically ill after reading what happened to Kathy Sierra. Maryam and several others here at PodTech asked me about it and are concerned since the same sites that are attacking Kathy also mentioned me and Maryam. Maryam is really freaked out about it. So am I.

She doesn’t feel safe. I don’t either after reading Kathy’s post. I, like Mike Arrington and other bloggers, have gotten threatened and I’ve just ignored it. It comes with the territory, or so they say. But what Kathy is going through is just totally disgusting. I note that only one of the four that Kathy specifically mention has apologized. That itself is disgusting. Those people are NOT my friends and I don’t support that kind of blogging or commenting and remove such attacks if left here against other people (I leave attacks against me up, but that’s cause generally most people here are pretty cool, even if they think I’m a jerk).

We’re putting ourselves out there in ways very few people do. We should be safe from death threats and other sexual attacks and stuff, especially from other bloggers.

So, since she doesn’t feel safe. I’m going to stop blogging in support of Kathy, who I consider a friend and someone who’s voice would be dearly missed here. I’ll be back Monday.

The Internet culture is really disgusting. Today when I was on Justin.TV the kinds of things that people were discussing in the chat room there were just totally disgusting and over the top.

We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.

And, Kathy, Maryam and I love you and are there for you. Don’t let these jerks get you down.

It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop. I really don’t care if you attack me. I take those attacks in stride. But, whenever I post a video of a female technologist there invariably are snide remarks about body parts and other things that simply wouldn’t happen if the interviewee were a man.

It makes me realize just how ascerbic this industry and culture are toward women. This just makes me ill.

Comments

  1. I’m sick about the Kathy Sierra situation too — and understand your decision to take time away from blogging. My best to Maryam.

  2. I’m sick about the Kathy Sierra situation too — and understand your decision to take time away from blogging. My best to Maryam.

  3. “It makes me realize just how ascerbic this industry and culture are toward women. This just makes me ill.”

    We are improving greatly, but in some parts of the world today people are being killed for teaching girls in school:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=teachers+killed+girls+school

    (iow, don’t confuse the general problems we flawed humans are surmounting with the tech field itself.)

    Publishing the anonymous may be the root cause of the problem in this case. If someone doesn’t own their words, why do we consent to publishing them…?

    More on similar theme at Memeorandum today:
    http://www.memeorandum.com/070326/p57#a070326p57

    jd

  4. “It makes me realize just how ascerbic this industry and culture are toward women. This just makes me ill.”

    We are improving greatly, but in some parts of the world today people are being killed for teaching girls in school:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=teachers+killed+girls+school

    (iow, don’t confuse the general problems we flawed humans are surmounting with the tech field itself.)

    Publishing the anonymous may be the root cause of the problem in this case. If someone doesn’t own their words, why do we consent to publishing them…?

    More on similar theme at Memeorandum today:
    http://www.memeorandum.com/070326/p57#a070326p57

    jd

  5. It’s unbelievable how far over the line these attacks have gone. We’re going to miss your posts for the next week but I think everyone understands why you are doing this. Like you said in your post, we need to fix this.

  6. It’s unbelievable how far over the line these attacks have gone. We’re going to miss your posts for the next week but I think everyone understands why you are doing this. Like you said in your post, we need to fix this.

  7. John: anonymity is a big part of it, yes. But, there’s just a culture of acceptance of making sexually crude degrading jokes online. You especially see it in the chat room on Justin.TV as well as on Digg.com and Slashdot.com’s discussion areas.

    I think it +is+ a tech industry problem, by the way. Women quickly learn that they can’t participate in online forums (and, probably don’t feel safe coming to things like my Photowalking or geek/blogger dinners, which decreases their participation in this industry).

  8. John: anonymity is a big part of it, yes. But, there’s just a culture of acceptance of making sexually crude degrading jokes online. You especially see it in the chat room on Justin.TV as well as on Digg.com and Slashdot.com’s discussion areas.

    I think it +is+ a tech industry problem, by the way. Women quickly learn that they can’t participate in online forums (and, probably don’t feel safe coming to things like my Photowalking or geek/blogger dinners, which decreases their participation in this industry).

  9. I am sickened by this as well. I really respect your decision to support Kathy in this manner. There is so much creative ability that comes to this blog alone, it will be of great interest to see what developments are unleashed to help everyone remain safe.

  10. I am sickened by this as well. I really respect your decision to support Kathy in this manner. There is so much creative ability that comes to this blog alone, it will be of great interest to see what developments are unleashed to help everyone remain safe.

  11. When Amanda Congdon and Rocketboom split, the vibe of conversation on the USA Today blog was light years away from various topic/industry blogs. YouTube/digg/and others are part of a wider culture.

    Do you think it’s easy for me to start a show on *gaming* ffs? I’m walking into the widespread culture of life. It’s a lion’s den.

    What baffles me is why she was targeted (it’s wrong no matter who targets it), over people who do cause people to have an axe to grind. It’s horrible and not a surprise overall and I fully expect it to get worse.

  12. Glad I live in TX. It’s called concealed weapons permit.

    Too bad you live in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia where self-defense is considered a crime since the entire state is chock full of bleeding hearts.

    I hear your, though, about the threats. No one should be taking anything on the net that seriously, but there are crazies out there.

  13. When Amanda Congdon and Rocketboom split, the vibe of conversation on the USA Today blog was light years away from various topic/industry blogs. YouTube/digg/and others are part of a wider culture.

    Do you think it’s easy for me to start a show on *gaming* ffs? I’m walking into the widespread culture of life. It’s a lion’s den.

    What baffles me is why she was targeted (it’s wrong no matter who targets it), over people who do cause people to have an axe to grind. It’s horrible and not a surprise overall and I fully expect it to get worse.

  14. Glad I live in TX. It’s called concealed weapons permit.

    Too bad you live in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia where self-defense is considered a crime since the entire state is chock full of bleeding hearts.

    I hear your, though, about the threats. No one should be taking anything on the net that seriously, but there are crazies out there.

  15. It really sucks what happened to Kathy and you’re all right we do need to fix it asap. Looking forward to some interesting discussion on Monday.

    All the best,

    Theo

  16. It really sucks what happened to Kathy and you’re all right we do need to fix it asap. Looking forward to some interesting discussion on Monday.

    All the best,

    Theo

  17. I think it’s important to create a morality and standard in blogging where threats and degradation are not acceptable. But, sometimes it’s necessary to prosecute to show the consequences of such illegal threats.

  18. I agree that this deserves a reaction. But being silent is not the way to go! Blog out loud! USE ONLY CAPS! Post twice as much a day! Don’t pull back, thrust forward! Now is not the time to put your head down…

  19. I think it’s important to create a morality and standard in blogging where threats and degradation are not acceptable. But, sometimes it’s necessary to prosecute to show the consequences of such illegal threats.

  20. I agree that this deserves a reaction. But being silent is not the way to go! Blog out loud! USE ONLY CAPS! Post twice as much a day! Don’t pull back, thrust forward! Now is not the time to put your head down…

  21. I’ve been involved in creating a “Social Networking” website for an area of the world where women are seriously and frequently treated in ways that are confusing, and concerning to me. It’s difficult to add in enough tools to allow people (women mostly, in this case) the ability share enough information to have a voice, yet feel safe in doing so.

    In reality, it is probably impossible. Anyone posting anything on the Internet is putting themselves “out there”. And by doing so they are assuming some risk. But it should not be a risk to health (physical OR mental).

    And sorry folks – you can’t get out of this one by claiming you were “just kidding”.

  22. Death Threats in the Blogosphere

    I don’t have all the facts straight yet (somebody ought to write a WikiNews or Now Public story about this), but marketing genius Kathy Sierra has apparently been receiving death threats from other bloggers.
    As I type this, I am supposed to be in…

  23. I’ve been involved in creating a “Social Networking” website for an area of the world where women are seriously and frequently treated in ways that are confusing, and concerning to me. It’s difficult to add in enough tools to allow people (women mostly, in this case) the ability share enough information to have a voice, yet feel safe in doing so.

    In reality, it is probably impossible. Anyone posting anything on the Internet is putting themselves “out there”. And by doing so they are assuming some risk. But it should not be a risk to health (physical OR mental).

    And sorry folks – you can’t get out of this one by claiming you were “just kidding”.

  24. Boris: silence makes a louder noise than all caps.

    After all, this post will be at the top of my blog for an entire week.

    And, I’m sorry to others I’ve sat silently by as I’ve seen them attacked using sexual taunts.

    Shame on me. No more.

  25. Boris: silence makes a louder noise than all caps.

    After all, this post will be at the top of my blog for an entire week.

    And, I’m sorry to others I’ve sat silently by as I’ve seen them attacked using sexual taunts.

    Shame on me. No more.

  26. Robert first please convey my concern and support to Maryam. She def does not need this stress especially at this time in your lives. This is evil, malicious and every legit blogger should be outraged. We can’t allow the bad guys to halt what has become an important business “conversation.”

  27. Robert first please convey my concern and support to Maryam. She def does not need this stress especially at this time in your lives. This is evil, malicious and every legit blogger should be outraged. We can’t allow the bad guys to halt what has become an important business “conversation.”

  28. Agreed, this sort of thing must stop. As someone who frequents many different blogs, my heartfelt apologies go out to everyone effected by this sort of cowardice. It seems to me the sort of person that resorts to such loathsome threats does so because they can’t think of an intelligent rejoinder. It’s quite unfortunate you were caught in their path, but I’m sure they’ll get theirs eventually.

  29. Agreed, this sort of thing must stop. As someone who frequents many different blogs, my heartfelt apologies go out to everyone effected by this sort of cowardice. It seems to me the sort of person that resorts to such loathsome threats does so because they can’t think of an intelligent rejoinder. It’s quite unfortunate you were caught in their path, but I’m sure they’ll get theirs eventually.

  30. Robert, we actually had some troll reach thru the internet into our home, calling us and then leaving my name and phone number in internet chat rooms, so that other idiots could call us at all hours of the day for sex.

    The internet can be a vile and disgusting place, which is part of the reason my blog came down. Our local police couldnt do much though and after a few months it finally died down. But not without a lot of tense moments of being in my home alone, or alone with our younger daughter at the time.

    Jeff asks me to start my blog up a lot; to which I respond, “not on your life.”

  31. Robert, we actually had some troll reach thru the internet into our home, calling us and then leaving my name and phone number in internet chat rooms, so that other idiots could call us at all hours of the day for sex.

    The internet can be a vile and disgusting place, which is part of the reason my blog came down. Our local police couldnt do much though and after a few months it finally died down. But not without a lot of tense moments of being in my home alone, or alone with our younger daughter at the time.

    Jeff asks me to start my blog up a lot; to which I respond, “not on your life.”

  32. I stopped blogging because of an issue like this. People find it too easy to attack because they are hidden behind an IP address. Even when I turned of comments they found my flickr pages and my family’s blog and flickr pages and posted discusting things about me. It is a sad world we live in and I support Robert in any way to get this issue under control.

  33. I stopped blogging because of an issue like this. People find it too easy to attack because they are hidden behind an IP address. Even when I turned of comments they found my flickr pages and my family’s blog and flickr pages and posted discusting things about me. It is a sad world we live in and I support Robert in any way to get this issue under control.

  34. Sleazy comments, slurs, slander and nasty stuff against women has been going on for a long time in the blogosphere. It’s why I never felt okay about hosting comments on my blog … I learned quickly that there were lots of nasty people out there wanting to silence me.

  35. Sleazy comments, slurs, slander and nasty stuff against women has been going on for a long time in the blogosphere. It’s why I never felt okay about hosting comments on my blog … I learned quickly that there were lots of nasty people out there wanting to silence me.

  36. Lauri: after hearing more and more of these stories all I am is just sad cause, whether I agree with you or not, I did learn something from the discourse.

    >Adam:

    It’s not cowardice. It’s a culture that allows and, even, sort of encourages sexual attacks on women. Look at Justin.tv’s chat room. The comments there are rife with sexual overtones. If it’s not attacks on women it’s that someone is “gay.”

  37. Lauri: after hearing more and more of these stories all I am is just sad cause, whether I agree with you or not, I did learn something from the discourse.

    >Adam:

    It’s not cowardice. It’s a culture that allows and, even, sort of encourages sexual attacks on women. Look at Justin.tv’s chat room. The comments there are rife with sexual overtones. If it’s not attacks on women it’s that someone is “gay.”

  38. I agree with TX…it’s called a CCW. Protect yourself, you’re entitled by the Constitution.

    But I wouldn’t limit this abuse to blogging only. Robert, you have an XBox. You ever been playing a game online in some open match making forum? Take a Halo 2 match made game, drop in a girl into the game and listen…it’s really quite amazing at what facelessness does to people. Even the way that these little teenagers talk to others of the same sex, talk you know they’d never attempt face to face. Ugh. Don’t blame the Internet, blame TCP/IP.

  39. I agree with TX…it’s called a CCW. Protect yourself, you’re entitled by the Constitution.

    But I wouldn’t limit this abuse to blogging only. Robert, you have an XBox. You ever been playing a game online in some open match making forum? Take a Halo 2 match made game, drop in a girl into the game and listen…it’s really quite amazing at what facelessness does to people. Even the way that these little teenagers talk to others of the same sex, talk you know they’d never attempt face to face. Ugh. Don’t blame the Internet, blame TCP/IP.

  40. There is a feminist law student blogger who also has been threatened on a law school forum, similar to whats happening to KS, so it’s just not the tech field.

    Theres a lot of fucked up people (misogynistic men) out there.

  41. There is a feminist law student blogger who also has been threatened on a law school forum, similar to whats happening to KS, so it’s just not the tech field.

    Theres a lot of fucked up people (misogynistic men) out there.

  42. I feel equally sick after reading Kathy’s post. Who the f&*k do these people think they are!?

    I agree that anonymous blog posts should be stopped and have changed it on my own blog as of tonight.

    I too have been the victim of their vicious comments on my own blog but like you I have learnt to take it but no more.

    If you are not man or women enough to make comments and standby them using your own name then don’t make them.

    Paul Walsh from Segala has started a bloggers code of conduct which uses W3C’s new content labels as part of the solution. I am joining to help shape the outcome.

    I only hope that Kathy does not leave the blogosphere as her insight has proved invaluable to me.

  43. I feel equally sick after reading Kathy’s post. Who the f&*k do these people think they are!?

    I agree that anonymous blog posts should be stopped and have changed it on my own blog as of tonight.

    I too have been the victim of their vicious comments on my own blog but like you I have learnt to take it but no more.

    If you are not man or women enough to make comments and standby them using your own name then don’t make them.

    Paul Walsh from Segala has started a bloggers code of conduct which uses W3C’s new content labels as part of the solution. I am joining to help shape the outcome.

    I only hope that Kathy does not leave the blogosphere as her insight has proved invaluable to me.

  44. Online, or off-line. First Life or Second Life – the same rules of being civil, cordial and nasty apply. Be civil (even in disagreement) and you will get your view across – although agreement is something else. Be cordial, and people may actually like you more than your idea. Be nasty and you deserve everything that society should bring to bear as if you had done it face to face.

    Remember anonymity is just a perception online. You are easy to track, easier than any drive-by shooter or street loony.

    Let society deal with the low-life nasties. Let everyone else rise above it. Blog it.

  45. Online, or off-line. First Life or Second Life – the same rules of being civil, cordial and nasty apply. Be civil (even in disagreement) and you will get your view across – although agreement is something else. Be cordial, and people may actually like you more than your idea. Be nasty and you deserve everything that society should bring to bear as if you had done it face to face.

    Remember anonymity is just a perception online. You are easy to track, easier than any drive-by shooter or street loony.

    Let society deal with the low-life nasties. Let everyone else rise above it. Blog it.

  46. Thank you for this, Robert. As a geek.girl I have come up against this in varying degrees in the last 15 years, but never to the extent Kathy has experienced it. I hope that you get people talking and something does change. Thank you for standing up for Kathy.

  47. Thank you for this, Robert. As a geek.girl I have come up against this in varying degrees in the last 15 years, but never to the extent Kathy has experienced it. I hope that you get people talking and something does change. Thank you for standing up for Kathy.

  48. Scoble:

    These people who are making these death threats are the worst kind of cowards and the worst kind of human beings. We need the comments/opinions of people like Ms. Sierra not the ignorant ravings of these other idiots.

  49. Scoble:

    These people who are making these death threats are the worst kind of cowards and the worst kind of human beings. We need the comments/opinions of people like Ms. Sierra not the ignorant ravings of these other idiots.

  50. It’s like everything is spinning out of control. Anyone who blogs is opening themselves to criticism, of course, but there is no excuse – none – for this kind of behavior. I simply cannot understand how anyone could argue that this is acceptable. We shouldn’t tolerate it – we can’t tolerate it.

    There are times when anonymity is necessary, but using it to express desire to do physical or sexual harm on someone is nothing short of criminal. We all need to stand in support of Kathy, and take a stand whenever we witness such behavior. There is just no excuse for this; anyone committing such acts should be shamed to the full extent of the blogosphere.

  51. It’s like everything is spinning out of control. Anyone who blogs is opening themselves to criticism, of course, but there is no excuse – none – for this kind of behavior. I simply cannot understand how anyone could argue that this is acceptable. We shouldn’t tolerate it – we can’t tolerate it.

    There are times when anonymity is necessary, but using it to express desire to do physical or sexual harm on someone is nothing short of criminal. We all need to stand in support of Kathy, and take a stand whenever we witness such behavior. There is just no excuse for this; anyone committing such acts should be shamed to the full extent of the blogosphere.

  52. I don’t care if these lowlife scum hate Kathy Sierra, she’s a human being and no human being deserve this type of abuse.

    I hope the feds trace the IPs and bring the person(s) responsible to justice.

    If this is or has been happening to Maryam too, Robert, write about who the people are responsible so we know who NOT to associate with online, please.

    Argh, loserville++;

  53. I don’t care if these lowlife scum hate Kathy Sierra, she’s a human being and no human being deserve this type of abuse.

    I hope the feds trace the IPs and bring the person(s) responsible to justice.

    If this is or has been happening to Maryam too, Robert, write about who the people are responsible so we know who NOT to associate with online, please.

    Argh, loserville++;

  54. Wow! That was some of the most vile, disgusting language I’ve ever written.

    I agree that internet culture breeds a kind of hateful negativity, sometimes in the guise of cleverness or snarkiness, but that was over the top, serial-killer type vitriol that’s a category removed from mere trolling.

    I’m not religious but I’m going to be hoping/praying for Kathy’s safety.

  55. Wow! That was some of the most vile, disgusting language I’ve ever written.

    I agree that internet culture breeds a kind of hateful negativity, sometimes in the guise of cleverness or snarkiness, but that was over the top, serial-killer type vitriol that’s a category removed from mere trolling.

    I’m not religious but I’m going to be hoping/praying for Kathy’s safety.

  56. That’s not right. I’m I would take the week off, too. Although they are probably not actual “threats” (it’s very easy to be hidden in front of a keyboard), it’s scary, no doubt.

    Take care.

  57. That’s not right. I’m I would take the week off, too. Although they are probably not actual “threats” (it’s very easy to be hidden in front of a keyboard), it’s scary, no doubt.

    Take care.

  58. Oops:

    That’s not right (for them to be threatening bloggers, like yourself). I would take….

  59. Absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe people are willing to go as low as this, whether they mean it or not.

    A week off for me as well.

  60. Absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe people are willing to go as low as this, whether they mean it or not.

    A week off for me as well.

  61. Hmmm, well, wow. While I am disgusted at the threats, I do not see the connection between that and quitting blogging. Lets see, if I was threatened with death in a physical encounter, would I expect my friends to quit living their life? Would they even do it? Blogging is not the problem, unless you buy into the “guns kill people” mindset. C’mon – blogging kills people?!?!? What are you smoking? This is nothing more than another way to communicate, and stopping communication is NOT the way to address it. I sincerely hope that they catch the bastard (or bastardette).

  62. Hmmm, well, wow. While I am disgusted at the threats, I do not see the connection between that and quitting blogging. Lets see, if I was threatened with death in a physical encounter, would I expect my friends to quit living their life? Would they even do it? Blogging is not the problem, unless you buy into the “guns kill people” mindset. C’mon – blogging kills people?!?!? What are you smoking? This is nothing more than another way to communicate, and stopping communication is NOT the way to address it. I sincerely hope that they catch the bastard (or bastardette).

  63. It’s my hope that any legal professionals who are at the top of their game reach out to Kathy and offer their pro bono assistance to her. If you’re a legal professional who excels at seeking and winning damages in civil suits, please offer your assistance to Kathy and help her litigate against any involved parties. While nothing can undo the harm of the words said and threats made, it will hopefully deter future actions like this if others realize the enormous legal bill that their irresponsible words can create.

  64. It’s my hope that any legal professionals who are at the top of their game reach out to Kathy and offer their pro bono assistance to her. If you’re a legal professional who excels at seeking and winning damages in civil suits, please offer your assistance to Kathy and help her litigate against any involved parties. While nothing can undo the harm of the words said and threats made, it will hopefully deter future actions like this if others realize the enormous legal bill that their irresponsible words can create.

  65. Robert: I’m just a z-list blogger, but I’m wondering if taking the week off is really the best way to “do something.”

    On some level, it’s opting out of the conversation you want to start. It sounds like “going on strike,” in which case your readers are the target when instead it should be the a****les. And finally, your comment about this post remaining “on top” of your blog for a week is counterproductive.

    If you want to keep a topic “on top,” the answer is writing more often, not less. Otherwise your feeds disappear from aggregators everywhere, buried under a million other topics.

    Still, it’s your call. Taking time to get your thoughts together makes sense as well. I was just unsure of your justification.

  66. Robert: I’m just a z-list blogger, but I’m wondering if taking the week off is really the best way to “do something.”

    On some level, it’s opting out of the conversation you want to start. It sounds like “going on strike,” in which case your readers are the target when instead it should be the a****les. And finally, your comment about this post remaining “on top” of your blog for a week is counterproductive.

    If you want to keep a topic “on top,” the answer is writing more often, not less. Otherwise your feeds disappear from aggregators everywhere, buried under a million other topics.

    Still, it’s your call. Taking time to get your thoughts together makes sense as well. I was just unsure of your justification.

  67. I agree with John ( the post about Halo) my kids play and there are creeps a minute in that game, and probably the other online games as well. All I can do besides taking the game off line, is to educate my kids to never be that way to others. As for anomalously leaving comments, its nice to think we can stop these creeps with that, but truth is they will find some other way to harass innocent people. I hope the people responsible for her pain and suffering get what they have coming.

  68. I agree with John ( the post about Halo) my kids play and there are creeps a minute in that game, and probably the other online games as well. All I can do besides taking the game off line, is to educate my kids to never be that way to others. As for anomalously leaving comments, its nice to think we can stop these creeps with that, but truth is they will find some other way to harass innocent people. I hope the people responsible for her pain and suffering get what they have coming.

  69. At least you’re aware of it. But you should know it’s much worse outside the blogosphere. People tend to respect the blog. They’re much worse in the forums and chatrooms.

  70. At least you’re aware of it. But you should know it’s much worse outside the blogosphere. People tend to respect the blog. They’re much worse in the forums and chatrooms.

  71. I agree with Mike, you can’t stop blogging. Maybe instead you could change your focus for a week. What would happen if there was a state of emergency in the real world? We all stop our jobs for the time being and become supportive humans for others who need help. So blog for a week on topics that will support Kathy and Maryam and all who are targeted.

  72. I agree with Mike, you can’t stop blogging. Maybe instead you could change your focus for a week. What would happen if there was a state of emergency in the real world? We all stop our jobs for the time being and become supportive humans for others who need help. So blog for a week on topics that will support Kathy and Maryam and all who are targeted.

  73. [...] Robert Scoble is forgoing blogging for a week in support of Kathy.. and he’s not alone in making a potent statement about it. While I agree with Steve Rubel’s clear-headed perspective of the blogosphere.. however: I believe that the community of explorers and innovative pioneers at the frontier will always have a different ethos, level of courage and shared trust that changes with access equity as the floodgates open. [...]

  74. [...] Taking the week off « Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger: how many “I’m disgusted, I’m taking the week off” posts have I read in the 15 years I’ve been ethankap on the Internet? Almost as many as those decrying the depraved culture of the Internet in general. You all should go read Sherry Turkle’s “Life on the Screen.” There are quantifiable and documented and scientific reasons this happens. Dialog about the culture isn’t going to get anything more than more posts about the culture, which if you do some research, has been going on since HAM radio. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  75. [...] to Kathy Sierra’s latest post where she talks about death threats against her. He writes in Taking the week off: It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop. I really don’t [...]

  76. I fully agree with everything that you’re saying on this. It is absolutely horrible. However I just saw on your Twitter feed:

    “WE NEED A DIGG BOYCOTT. The comments on Kathy Sierra’s Digg is just UNACCEPTABLE. Why do we accept this kind of speech?”

    “@KevinRose: YOU are responsible for “b***h”. http://tinyurl.com/27t7h6

    and

    “@KevinRose: it’s time you cleaned up your sewer. The fact that there are places for assholes to post on the Internet helps this stuff fester”

    First of all, it’s not Kevin Rose’s fault. He set up a forum and he is not saying those things himself. You get idiots everywhere. How do you suggest that Kevin Rose stops these comments from being posted? Moderate every comment before it goes through? Have comments deleted? It sounds like a nightmare.

    Indeed, Digg already has methods to deal with this. You digg the person’s comment down. This has already happened on the digg story on the topic and reasonable voices have prevailed with the offensive comments being hidden and under the stigma of being dugg down.

    You say “The fact that there are places for assholes to post on the Internet helps this stuff fester”, but how can this be realistically stopped without having a significant and unreasonable screening process for any website that allows comments?

    To call for a boycott on Digg is furthermore ridiculous. Why should Digg be boycotted because a few idiot users have said these things and their comments have already been dugg down, demonstrating that the vast majority of digg users are against this kind of thing.

    I’m interested to know a realistic suggestion that you have for cleaning up the “sewer” at Digg that is feasible and more effective than the current digging down of offensive comments? Your suggestion to boycott did is very kneejerk and really I don’t think this is what anyone would want in the end.

  77. I fully agree with everything that you’re saying on this. It is absolutely horrible. However I just saw on your Twitter feed:

    “WE NEED A DIGG BOYCOTT. The comments on Kathy Sierra’s Digg is just UNACCEPTABLE. Why do we accept this kind of speech?”

    “@KevinRose: YOU are responsible for “b***h”. http://tinyurl.com/27t7h6

    and

    “@KevinRose: it’s time you cleaned up your sewer. The fact that there are places for assholes to post on the Internet helps this stuff fester”

    First of all, it’s not Kevin Rose’s fault. He set up a forum and he is not saying those things himself. You get idiots everywhere. How do you suggest that Kevin Rose stops these comments from being posted? Moderate every comment before it goes through? Have comments deleted? It sounds like a nightmare.

    Indeed, Digg already has methods to deal with this. You digg the person’s comment down. This has already happened on the digg story on the topic and reasonable voices have prevailed with the offensive comments being hidden and under the stigma of being dugg down.

    You say “The fact that there are places for assholes to post on the Internet helps this stuff fester”, but how can this be realistically stopped without having a significant and unreasonable screening process for any website that allows comments?

    To call for a boycott on Digg is furthermore ridiculous. Why should Digg be boycotted because a few idiot users have said these things and their comments have already been dugg down, demonstrating that the vast majority of digg users are against this kind of thing.

    I’m interested to know a realistic suggestion that you have for cleaning up the “sewer” at Digg that is feasible and more effective than the current digging down of offensive comments? Your suggestion to boycott did is very kneejerk and really I don’t think this is what anyone would want in the end.

  78. @Jeff Hume:
    “You say “The fact that there are places for assholes to post on the Internet helps this stuff fester”, but how can this be realistically stopped without having a significant and unreasonable screening process for any website that allows comments?”

    Lifehacker does it with a large user base. The secret to implementing it is that if someone gets Digged down enough they should get banned from commenting.

    “To call for a boycott on Digg is furthermore ridiculous. Why should Digg be boycotted because a few idiot users have said these things and their comments have already been dugg down, demonstrating that the vast majority of digg users are against this kind of thing.”

    Yes, but every Digg story has commenters like that. They’re drawn to Digg like a month to flamewars.

  79. @70 moderation is not a “nightmare” Jeff, this garbage has been happening on the web for years. Almost every messageboard community out there with any significant activity has this to deal with on some level. It goes with the territory of having a busy trafficked site, unfortunately :(

  80. @Jeff Hume:
    “You say “The fact that there are places for assholes to post on the Internet helps this stuff fester”, but how can this be realistically stopped without having a significant and unreasonable screening process for any website that allows comments?”

    Lifehacker does it with a large user base. The secret to implementing it is that if someone gets Digged down enough they should get banned from commenting.

    “To call for a boycott on Digg is furthermore ridiculous. Why should Digg be boycotted because a few idiot users have said these things and their comments have already been dugg down, demonstrating that the vast majority of digg users are against this kind of thing.”

    Yes, but every Digg story has commenters like that. They’re drawn to Digg like a month to flamewars.

  81. @70 moderation is not a “nightmare” Jeff, this garbage has been happening on the web for years. Almost every messageboard community out there with any significant activity has this to deal with on some level. It goes with the territory of having a busy trafficked site, unfortunately :(

  82. Have to agree with you on justin.tv, I kept shrinking the window so I didn’t have to see the retarded nonsense from teenagers with no accountability posting that every guy on camera was gay, and every woman was a slut.

    On a more humerous note, if the above were true, the women must be very depressed.

  83. Have to agree with you on justin.tv, I kept shrinking the window so I didn’t have to see the retarded nonsense from teenagers with no accountability posting that every guy on camera was gay, and every woman was a slut.

    On a more humerous note, if the above were true, the women must be very depressed.

  84. Scoble I agree with you about your choice to not blog for the next week, but can you still post blogs on my blog? Hehe nah it’s ok, I read your blog daily so I’m going to miss out (like everyone else) for the rest of the week.

    …. My regrets out to Kathy

  85. Scoble I agree with you about your choice to not blog for the next week, but can you still post blogs on my blog? Hehe nah it’s ok, I read your blog daily so I’m going to miss out (like everyone else) for the rest of the week.

    …. My regrets out to Kathy

  86. I’m not sure how you exactly fix the kind of culture that would do such a thing to Kathy Sierra, but I do think that open discussion about it is a good start.

  87. I’m joining you, Robert, in both my blogs (the second is more-or-less private).

    To those wondering if it’s a good idea — ANYTHING that helps to draw attention to this is a good idea, period. It may be a “depraved culture”, and I a Libertine, but there’s a point where you need to take a stand, and stand up for basic, fundamental rights, even on the ‘Net.
    Just as the stand against Spam has resulted in, at least, it being restrained, so too could a stand against this kind of behavior result in it being pushed from the “mainstream” forums and blogs, and into the recesses where KKK members and other puerile filth reside. If we ALL stood together, we could open doors for women techs, and we could actually make the ‘Net into the egalitarian place we all say it is.

    All we have to do, is say NO. And keep saying NO. It’s the easiest, and hardest, thing to do.

  88. I’m not sure how you exactly fix the kind of culture that would do such a thing to Kathy Sierra, but I do think that open discussion about it is a good start.

  89. I’m joining you, Robert, in both my blogs (the second is more-or-less private).

    To those wondering if it’s a good idea — ANYTHING that helps to draw attention to this is a good idea, period. It may be a “depraved culture”, and I a Libertine, but there’s a point where you need to take a stand, and stand up for basic, fundamental rights, even on the ‘Net.
    Just as the stand against Spam has resulted in, at least, it being restrained, so too could a stand against this kind of behavior result in it being pushed from the “mainstream” forums and blogs, and into the recesses where KKK members and other puerile filth reside. If we ALL stood together, we could open doors for women techs, and we could actually make the ‘Net into the egalitarian place we all say it is.

    All we have to do, is say NO. And keep saying NO. It’s the easiest, and hardest, thing to do.

  90. @engtech

    “Lifehacker does it with a large user base. The secret to implementing it is that if someone gets Digged down enough they should get banned from commenting.”

    The problem is integrating it with the Digg model. I don’t think that would be an appropriate solution. Somebody could get dugg down significantly because other users disagree with what they had to say, even if it’s not offensive at all. That puts the power to ban people with the users and open to abuse. There have been bots (or annoying determined groups of people) that have sometimes gone around and dugg down everyone on a particular article. People could create multiple accounts or get their friends to digg someone down to get them banned.

    So, that method doesn’t work.

    Digg could have a more rigorous system of banning people based on users reporting them, however, I still think that Scoble attacking Kevin Rose for doing nothing (when this situation just came to light) and furthermore calling for boycotting Digg (when that wouldn’t do anything and Digg has already taken care of things a bit by digging down) is over the top.

  91. @engtech

    “Lifehacker does it with a large user base. The secret to implementing it is that if someone gets Digged down enough they should get banned from commenting.”

    The problem is integrating it with the Digg model. I don’t think that would be an appropriate solution. Somebody could get dugg down significantly because other users disagree with what they had to say, even if it’s not offensive at all. That puts the power to ban people with the users and open to abuse. There have been bots (or annoying determined groups of people) that have sometimes gone around and dugg down everyone on a particular article. People could create multiple accounts or get their friends to digg someone down to get them banned.

    So, that method doesn’t work.

    Digg could have a more rigorous system of banning people based on users reporting them, however, I still think that Scoble attacking Kevin Rose for doing nothing (when this situation just came to light) and furthermore calling for boycotting Digg (when that wouldn’t do anything and Digg has already taken care of things a bit by digging down) is over the top.

  92. Jeff: Digg gives a place where it’s acceptable to be over-the-top sexist, derogatory, comments. That feeds this culture. So does Second Life. So does Justin.TV.

    When we all let it happen and we accept it, then we gotta accept that it’ll leak out of those places and into Kathy Sierra’s life as well.

  93. Jeff: Digg gives a place where it’s acceptable to be over-the-top sexist, derogatory, comments. That feeds this culture. So does Second Life. So does Justin.TV.

    When we all let it happen and we accept it, then we gotta accept that it’ll leak out of those places and into Kathy Sierra’s life as well.

  94. Damn. I applaud the protest of silence. When we physically stand up to the bullies, we’re taking the only possible steps to reversing the power dynamic.

    Still. Damn.

  95. Surely this is not a time to go silent. Surely this is a time for full-throated outrage? We do need to fix this, and debate is one of the best ways to do so.

    We are, as a community, dimished by the deplorable actions of a few.

  96. Damn. I applaud the protest of silence. When we physically stand up to the bullies, we’re taking the only possible steps to reversing the power dynamic.

    Still. Damn.

  97. Surely this is not a time to go silent. Surely this is a time for full-throated outrage? We do need to fix this, and debate is one of the best ways to do so.

    We are, as a community, dimished by the deplorable actions of a few.

  98. Scoble: While I agree that some of this stuff may go on at sites such as Digg, I’m not certain that boycotting them and saying well forget about that idea is the best thing.

    Don’t you think we’d lose a lot in that case?

    I think it would be more valuable to try and engage in a discussion with Kevin Rose over how to improve the situation instead of calling Digg a “sewer” and calling for a boycott, when in reality the comments that aren’t dugg down on the article are all very reasonable and similar to what is going on here.

  99. I wish Kathy the best in all of this. Her blog has made a big impact on how I look at documentation and product management.

    That’s why what I write is could be read as dismissive or insensitive but please know I don’t mean it that way.

    Let me start with the obvious…There is no easy answer for this. We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today. The way we use technology is a reflection of that world view and of our values. We value the individual’s privacy and to a degree, so do the tools we build. Linus’ Law tells us that we should be able to find the person who did this and expose them. Yet that doesn’t deal with bullying both online and offline in our culture.

    I understand the fear of thus bully that Kathy has as I had something like this get to me but she needs to get out and to live her life in the face of crap. For if she doesn’t, then this bully wins. Same goes for Robert and Maryam. Don’t let this person have that satisfaction to know they can influence you.

    Sure its easy for me to say this. But at some point when you blog or engage in the ‘naked conversations’ you open yourself up to risk. Should it be this way. No. But it is. The more of yourself that is available online the more people who are sick can use that to threaten you. But what of the people who you connected with who were once strangers? Is the risk of the sick person worth the reward of the stranger online who becomes a close friend offline?

  100. I wish Kathy the best in all of this. Her blog has made a big impact on how I look at documentation and product management.

    That’s why what I write is could be read as dismissive or insensitive but please know I don’t mean it that way.

    Let me start with the obvious…There is no easy answer for this. We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today. The way we use technology is a reflection of that world view and of our values. We value the individual’s privacy and to a degree, so do the tools we build. Linus’ Law tells us that we should be able to find the person who did this and expose them. Yet that doesn’t deal with bullying both online and offline in our culture.

    I understand the fear of thus bully that Kathy has as I had something like this get to me but she needs to get out and to live her life in the face of crap. For if she doesn’t, then this bully wins. Same goes for Robert and Maryam. Don’t let this person have that satisfaction to know they can influence you.

    Sure its easy for me to say this. But at some point when you blog or engage in the ‘naked conversations’ you open yourself up to risk. Should it be this way. No. But it is. The more of yourself that is available online the more people who are sick can use that to threaten you. But what of the people who you connected with who were once strangers? Is the risk of the sick person worth the reward of the stranger online who becomes a close friend offline?

  101. Scoble: While I agree that some of this stuff may go on at sites such as Digg, I’m not certain that boycotting them and saying well forget about that idea is the best thing.

    Don’t you think we’d lose a lot in that case?

    I think it would be more valuable to try and engage in a discussion with Kevin Rose over how to improve the situation instead of calling Digg a “sewer” and calling for a boycott, when in reality the comments that aren’t dugg down on the article are all very reasonable and similar to what is going on here.

  102. Robert, I’m very disappointed to read about what happened. I really hope that all is well for you and Maryam. This is not healthy, I hope we see an end to this corrupted blogging soon.

  103. Robert, I’m very disappointed to read about what happened. I really hope that all is well for you and Maryam. This is not healthy, I hope we see an end to this corrupted blogging soon.

  104. Taking the week off

    I consider Kathy Sierra (and her husband Bert Bates) good friends of mine. I’ve seen them quite a few times over the years at various conferences. They’re some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and I always enjoy our conversations.

    The recen…

  105. Sigh.

    You know, I always found a great solution to the chat room douchecrumpets. KickBan. Macro that op, and apply it with great zest and zeal.

    But the other one is public shame. How many people, when you see someone pulling shit like you saw on Justin.TV just sit there and shrink the window? Shit, I bet if you’d started, DURING the interview, calling out the yayhoos, and having the rest of the chat room start calling them out, it would have ended pretty goddamned quick. Dude, people KNOW when they’re doing something wrong, but if they get away with it, they keep doing it. If the Justin.TV people, or whoever it is, won’t do something about it, then terminate the interview. Shit, you don’t need any one interview that bad.

    This is not new, this bullshit about threatening people. However, why do you think it happens to certain people more than others? Dude, I damned near piss people off for a living. If they’re still there after BDB up and hosed my comment DB, read some of the shit I got for cracking on STAR WARS, much less Abortion.

    But threats? I’ve had one. Here, read about it:

    http://www.bynkii.com/archives/2007/01/well_now_thats_a_first.html

    The truth is, I think he really did mean it. That he wants to throw down with me. The problem is, I didn’t play fair. I didn’t let the little fartknocker stay hidden in email. I’m still not playing fair. Every time he tries to call me out for being acerbic, mean, whatever, I have the same reply: “That’s true Don, but at least I’ve never threatened to kick someone’s ass over a mail list.”

    Is that the wisest way to handle it? For me, sure. I’m not going to allow anyone to even THINK they have that kind of power over me. Best way to ensure that is to shine a friggin’ spotlight on their lame ass.

    Someone wants to threaten me, (and no, I’m not being blase here. But I’ve had REAL threats. Like “9mm a couple pounds of pressure from turning everything that makes me, me, into a flying spray”. A couple times. Living in Miami in the 70s and 80s was not always fun. After that, internet fucknuts are easy.), then they better be ready to have me, and my cohorts publish every fucking thing I can about them loud and proud. I will make the time to find where the little bastards live and work. You threaten me, and you find out just how much of a relentless asshole I can be when I’m inspired. I find that a single email with a load of correct, current information is a wonderful lesson in “don’t be a douche”. It’s worked well for me a couple times. Is it ruthless? Sure. Mean? probably. Do people play certain games with me twice? No.

    People like the little fucktards that ruined Kathy’s life need to hide to be effective. Note, I’m not talking about silly shit like not putting your name on a comment. Please, lying about that is dead simple. I’m talking about people relying on fear, and an unwillingness to fight back to let them stay hidden. You start leading with a spotlight? Yeah, watch the threats go away.

    I’m serious. You threaten me with harm, any rights you think you have just evaporated with me. Arguing, even heatedly, even with all the profanity you can muster is fine. You wanna call me names, great, whatever. It’s not like I get my self-esteem from others, and CERTAINLY not in the internet. That’s just fun.

    But the instant it turns into a threat, it crosses a line, and my reaction to it changes. So dude, the next time someone threatens you, POST IT.

    Post the HELL out of it. Post the threat, the IP address used, and all the other information. Then ask your readers to dig up whatever other information they can find out on the dipwad.

    I imagine the first time someone’s life gets fubar’d over bullshit like that, it will send a clear message: Don’t Threaten Me. Ever

    It is always better that we don’t have to deal with it. For the most part, it works out that way. But every so often, people confuse being nice with being spineless and harmless. When that happens, don’t be afraid to remind them that such confusion is in error.

  106. Sigh.

    You know, I always found a great solution to the chat room douchecrumpets. KickBan. Macro that op, and apply it with great zest and zeal.

    But the other one is public shame. How many people, when you see someone pulling shit like you saw on Justin.TV just sit there and shrink the window? Shit, I bet if you’d started, DURING the interview, calling out the yayhoos, and having the rest of the chat room start calling them out, it would have ended pretty goddamned quick. Dude, people KNOW when they’re doing something wrong, but if they get away with it, they keep doing it. If the Justin.TV people, or whoever it is, won’t do something about it, then terminate the interview. Shit, you don’t need any one interview that bad.

    This is not new, this bullshit about threatening people. However, why do you think it happens to certain people more than others? Dude, I damned near piss people off for a living. If they’re still there after BDB up and hosed my comment DB, read some of the shit I got for cracking on STAR WARS, much less Abortion.

    But threats? I’ve had one. Here, read about it:

    http://www.bynkii.com/archives/2007/01/well_now_thats_a_first.html

    The truth is, I think he really did mean it. That he wants to throw down with me. The problem is, I didn’t play fair. I didn’t let the little fartknocker stay hidden in email. I’m still not playing fair. Every time he tries to call me out for being acerbic, mean, whatever, I have the same reply: “That’s true Don, but at least I’ve never threatened to kick someone’s ass over a mail list.”

    Is that the wisest way to handle it? For me, sure. I’m not going to allow anyone to even THINK they have that kind of power over me. Best way to ensure that is to shine a friggin’ spotlight on their lame ass.

    Someone wants to threaten me, (and no, I’m not being blase here. But I’ve had REAL threats. Like “9mm a couple pounds of pressure from turning everything that makes me, me, into a flying spray”. A couple times. Living in Miami in the 70s and 80s was not always fun. After that, internet fucknuts are easy.), then they better be ready to have me, and my cohorts publish every fucking thing I can about them loud and proud. I will make the time to find where the little bastards live and work. You threaten me, and you find out just how much of a relentless asshole I can be when I’m inspired. I find that a single email with a load of correct, current information is a wonderful lesson in “don’t be a douche”. It’s worked well for me a couple times. Is it ruthless? Sure. Mean? probably. Do people play certain games with me twice? No.

    People like the little fucktards that ruined Kathy’s life need to hide to be effective. Note, I’m not talking about silly shit like not putting your name on a comment. Please, lying about that is dead simple. I’m talking about people relying on fear, and an unwillingness to fight back to let them stay hidden. You start leading with a spotlight? Yeah, watch the threats go away.

    I’m serious. You threaten me with harm, any rights you think you have just evaporated with me. Arguing, even heatedly, even with all the profanity you can muster is fine. You wanna call me names, great, whatever. It’s not like I get my self-esteem from others, and CERTAINLY not in the internet. That’s just fun.

    But the instant it turns into a threat, it crosses a line, and my reaction to it changes. So dude, the next time someone threatens you, POST IT.

    Post the HELL out of it. Post the threat, the IP address used, and all the other information. Then ask your readers to dig up whatever other information they can find out on the dipwad.

    I imagine the first time someone’s life gets fubar’d over bullshit like that, it will send a clear message: Don’t Threaten Me. Ever

    It is always better that we don’t have to deal with it. For the most part, it works out that way. But every so often, people confuse being nice with being spineless and harmless. When that happens, don’t be afraid to remind them that such confusion is in error.

  107. Robert, thank you for setting an example and speaking strongly for our colleague. I agree, this is poor behavior, and have used it as my own opportunity to reflect on my own blog about this. I hope you and your wife don’t let this fear get to you; that may just be what these predators want.

  108. Robert, thank you for setting an example and speaking strongly for our colleague. I agree, this is poor behavior, and have used it as my own opportunity to reflect on my own blog about this. I hope you and your wife don’t let this fear get to you; that may just be what these predators want.

  109. @ In Tex regarding CCW permits in CA and TX…

    Don’t know where you are getting your info, other than outdated stereotypes, but the CCW regs for both states are largely the same. TX has a state policy and CA has a per city policy, though they largely have the same criteria.

    It’s one thing to be able to get a CCW, it’s quite another to use it to take someone else’s life, even in self defense.

  110. @ In Tex regarding CCW permits in CA and TX…

    Don’t know where you are getting your info, other than outdated stereotypes, but the CCW regs for both states are largely the same. TX has a state policy and CA has a per city policy, though they largely have the same criteria.

    It’s one thing to be able to get a CCW, it’s quite another to use it to take someone else’s life, even in self defense.

  111. Jeff,

    >I think it would be more valuable to try and engage in a discussion with Kevin Rose over how to improve the situation instead of calling Digg a “sewer” and calling for a boycott

    Maybe. Part of it is I’m just acting out of anger. The kind of trash I’ve seen lately on a variety of sites is just pissing me off and I’m lashing out.

    But Digg’s management deserves some of this vitriol. They made a place where it’s acceptable to behave like this and they don’t speak out against it. That silence is far far more hurtful to women (and all of us, really) than anything else I’ve seen online.

    I heard Justin.tv say his goal in life is to have a job where he could get drunk all day. I believe him, too, after seeing what he allows on his chat room.

    If that kind of dreck showed up here I’d shut down my comments in less than 10 seconds and figure out how to solve the problem.

    The fact that Justin and Kevin DON’T do that demonstrates that THEY are part of the problem.

    On Channel 9 we deleted tons of comments like that, and made it clear that kind of abusive language wasn’t allowed. Funny how the forums over on Channel 9 are actually pretty decent places to have a conversation now.

  112. Jeff,

    >I think it would be more valuable to try and engage in a discussion with Kevin Rose over how to improve the situation instead of calling Digg a “sewer” and calling for a boycott

    Maybe. Part of it is I’m just acting out of anger. The kind of trash I’ve seen lately on a variety of sites is just pissing me off and I’m lashing out.

    But Digg’s management deserves some of this vitriol. They made a place where it’s acceptable to behave like this and they don’t speak out against it. That silence is far far more hurtful to women (and all of us, really) than anything else I’ve seen online.

    I heard Justin.tv say his goal in life is to have a job where he could get drunk all day. I believe him, too, after seeing what he allows on his chat room.

    If that kind of dreck showed up here I’d shut down my comments in less than 10 seconds and figure out how to solve the problem.

    The fact that Justin and Kevin DON’T do that demonstrates that THEY are part of the problem.

    On Channel 9 we deleted tons of comments like that, and made it clear that kind of abusive language wasn’t allowed. Funny how the forums over on Channel 9 are actually pretty decent places to have a conversation now.

  113. This is not to be tolerated in the blogophere. There is overwhelming support that this should not be tolerated. I have never been targeted by hate online, and hope I never have too. I can’t even imagine what Kathy is going through emotionally right now, and my support is with her 100%.

  114. This is not to be tolerated in the blogophere. There is overwhelming support that this should not be tolerated. I have never been targeted by hate online, and hope I never have too. I can’t even imagine what Kathy is going through emotionally right now, and my support is with her 100%.

  115. Robert,
    I support your move to take a stand against this kind of behavior and please come back in top shape.
    There is a new to sensitize the blogosphere to these issues.

  116. Robert,
    I support your move to take a stand against this kind of behavior and please come back in top shape.
    There is a new to sensitize the blogosphere to these issues.

  117. It’s easy to say that you’d shut down your comments, but Digg can’t really shut things down instantaneously without alienating their whole userbase and destroying their site, considering that the comments are basically what Digg is all about. It’s also about socially moderated conversation with the userbase passing the judgment (much like Wikipedia) rather than top-down moderation.

    It’s an experiment in a new method, and sure it has problems. Essentially my point is that the reaction to boycott is a considerable over-reaction and doesn’t do any good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a horrible thing to happen to Kathy, but things happen and we have to deal with them. We shouldn’t run around freaking out calling to boycott things which are really peripheral and not the real problem. What is boycotting Digg going to do? Those people will still be there? Just your small boycott wouldn’t. Digg wont start hurting, and those people will keep doing what they do. The solutions lie in a more fundamental shift in internet culture.

  118. It’s easy to say that you’d shut down your comments, but Digg can’t really shut things down instantaneously without alienating their whole userbase and destroying their site, considering that the comments are basically what Digg is all about. It’s also about socially moderated conversation with the userbase passing the judgment (much like Wikipedia) rather than top-down moderation.

    It’s an experiment in a new method, and sure it has problems. Essentially my point is that the reaction to boycott is a considerable over-reaction and doesn’t do any good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a horrible thing to happen to Kathy, but things happen and we have to deal with them. We shouldn’t run around freaking out calling to boycott things which are really peripheral and not the real problem. What is boycotting Digg going to do? Those people will still be there? Just your small boycott wouldn’t. Digg wont start hurting, and those people will keep doing what they do. The solutions lie in a more fundamental shift in internet culture.

  119. Whoa, hold on, did I read this right about Digg’s owners and such? So then what, go after all the blog sites too, and forum owners?

    Be consistent if you passionately agree with that, across the board, is all.

  120. Whoa, hold on, did I read this right about Digg’s owners and such? So then what, go after all the blog sites too, and forum owners?

    Be consistent if you passionately agree with that, across the board, is all.

  121. First off, Robert, congrats on the new kid-to-be.

    @Jeff – you certainly can control things like the Digg coments. Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    Quit letting these despicable cowardly lowlives hide behind silly handles. Kevin Rose, and anyone else who enables this should be ashamed and step up to fix the problem. If they don’t, they’re condoning it as far as I’m concerned.

  122. First off, Robert, congrats on the new kid-to-be.

    @Jeff – you certainly can control things like the Digg coments. Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    Quit letting these despicable cowardly lowlives hide behind silly handles. Kevin Rose, and anyone else who enables this should be ashamed and step up to fix the problem. If they don’t, they’re condoning it as far as I’m concerned.

  123. Threats against our lives, our security, our selves …

    Innocence has been lost today in the blogosphere, at least in my naive little corner of it.  I have, in the past, railed in frustration at marketing conferences that don’t include enough women speakers … and then I read about

  124. Hello,

    In trying to express my rage and unrest towards these violent events made to Kathy, I created a small graphic called “Zero Violence Blog”. I’ve posted it in my blog hoping people will download the images and include them in a small post relating to freedom of speech, and expressing the support Kathy must be needing today. If you feel like doing so, please head there or ask me and I will e-mail the logos directly to you.

    I hope you are moved enough as to try to express yourselves and do something now, before violence spreads wider into our blogging lives.

    Thanks,
    Ron E.

    http://brandcurve.com/zero-violence-blog/

  125. Hello,

    In trying to express my rage and unrest towards these violent events made to Kathy, I created a small graphic called “Zero Violence Blog”. I’ve posted it in my blog hoping people will download the images and include them in a small post relating to freedom of speech, and expressing the support Kathy must be needing today. If you feel like doing so, please head there or ask me and I will e-mail the logos directly to you.

    I hope you are moved enough as to try to express yourselves and do something now, before violence spreads wider into our blogging lives.

    Thanks,
    Ron E.

    http://brandcurve.com/zero-violence-blog/

  126. Eric, yes, I’d be for doing that consistently across the board. I’ve deleted several comments in the past that had sexual attacks toward other people. I just won’t put up with it here. We didn’t put up with it over on Microsoft’s Channel 9, either.

  127. Eric, yes, I’d be for doing that consistently across the board. I’ve deleted several comments in the past that had sexual attacks toward other people. I just won’t put up with it here. We didn’t put up with it over on Microsoft’s Channel 9, either.

  128. Sorry that those who give so much (earnest bloggers whose stimulating ideas enrich our professional and personal lives) are “asked” to give still more (their peace of mind and sense of security) by horrible events like this.

    The cover of wired magazine is bad enough (misogyny so ingrained many otherwise decent people don’t “scan” it as misogyny & sexualization of women in tech)… but THIS?

  129. Sorry that those who give so much (earnest bloggers whose stimulating ideas enrich our professional and personal lives) are “asked” to give still more (their peace of mind and sense of security) by horrible events like this.

    The cover of wired magazine is bad enough (misogyny so ingrained many otherwise decent people don’t “scan” it as misogyny & sexualization of women in tech)… but THIS?

  130. “We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today.”

    Your kidding right? On a globe where ethnic clensing and widespread civil war and rebellion are common, yoru going to call America the most violent culture in the world? Hell, even if you add in the war dead, we still don’t come close.

  131. “We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today.”

    Your kidding right? On a globe where ethnic clensing and widespread civil war and rebellion are common, yoru going to call America the most violent culture in the world? Hell, even if you add in the war dead, we still don’t come close.

  132. We need to create some mechanisms that affords removal of inappropriate comments and behavior.

    The quality of our discourse is a function of this anonymous-friendly medium we’ve created.

    What about establishing “mark as inappropriate” as a standard for all discussion areas, comment areas, live chats, and other similar places on the web. Like an anti-digg or thumbs down. Enough of these and the comment gets buried.

    Over time, maybe people won’t react to the terrible comments and just move-on.

    What a reminder of how young and uncultured we are as an internet community.

  133. We need to create some mechanisms that affords removal of inappropriate comments and behavior.

    The quality of our discourse is a function of this anonymous-friendly medium we’ve created.

    What about establishing “mark as inappropriate” as a standard for all discussion areas, comment areas, live chats, and other similar places on the web. Like an anti-digg or thumbs down. Enough of these and the comment gets buried.

    Over time, maybe people won’t react to the terrible comments and just move-on.

    What a reminder of how young and uncultured we are as an internet community.

  134. Robert,

    What Kathy and others are going through right now is simply horrible and no one should experience what she is going through.

    Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar stories from friends, stalking and creepy messages(but never to Kathy’s extant) forcing them to change their screen names, be more discrete online or just drop off from websites entirely.

    But instead of boycotting the web Robert, I think there are two things we can do to make a difference and that you can definitely do with your influence:

    1. Open a forum on what people should do – legally, seek emotion support, etc – when something like this happens. What to do next, possible legal recourse, etc.

    2. Open another forum on how to be discreet online. Unfortunately, I think public figures like Kathy will always have some chance of facing this kind of threat, but other people can be more discreet.

    As social media gains ground people as well as corporations will become more transparent and from threatening messages that Kathy has received to pedophiles on chat rooms there will always be risks on being online. There should be a guideline on how to keep safe on social media websites, blogs, twitter, etc.

    Twitter has been an eye-opener for me, I’ve seen techy people publicly twitter their future locations, their cell phone numbers etc.

    Its not too difficult for to creeps to stalk (or worse) by using very intimate online spaces like twitter, facebook, dodgeball etc.

    I’d love for the Social Media Club to pick this topic up and publish guidelines on it and maybe even promote them at colleges, highschools, corportions etc.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    - Daniel

  135. Robert,

    What Kathy and others are going through right now is simply horrible and no one should experience what she is going through.

    Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar stories from friends, stalking and creepy messages(but never to Kathy’s extant) forcing them to change their screen names, be more discrete online or just drop off from websites entirely.

    But instead of boycotting the web Robert, I think there are two things we can do to make a difference and that you can definitely do with your influence:

    1. Open a forum on what people should do – legally, seek emotion support, etc – when something like this happens. What to do next, possible legal recourse, etc.

    2. Open another forum on how to be discreet online. Unfortunately, I think public figures like Kathy will always have some chance of facing this kind of threat, but other people can be more discreet.

    As social media gains ground people as well as corporations will become more transparent and from threatening messages that Kathy has received to pedophiles on chat rooms there will always be risks on being online. There should be a guideline on how to keep safe on social media websites, blogs, twitter, etc.

    Twitter has been an eye-opener for me, I’ve seen techy people publicly twitter their future locations, their cell phone numbers etc.

    Its not too difficult for to creeps to stalk (or worse) by using very intimate online spaces like twitter, facebook, dodgeball etc.

    I’d love for the Social Media Club to pick this topic up and publish guidelines on it and maybe even promote them at colleges, highschools, corportions etc.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    - Daniel

  136. @Rick Gregory

    “@Jeff – you certainly can control things like the Digg coments. Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    Quit letting these despicable cowardly lowlives hide behind silly handles. Kevin Rose, and anyone else who enables this should be ashamed and step up to fix the problem. If they don’t, they’re condoning it as far as I’m concerned.”

    I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect everyone to have an email address that is somehow officially tied to their person? What exactly constitutes this anyway? ISP email addresses? The vast majority of people have hotmail, yahoo, gmail or some other kind of address like that. There are people who simply don’t belong to an institution that could give them such a official address, a school, people who don’t have an ISP account in their name or a domain of their own. It would be pretty unreasonable to expects sites like Digg to go through a rigorous screening process to see if email address are registered officially to an individual and they would lose most of their users. Furthermore, I’m not sure how this would technically work since I could always enter in the email address of someone else and pretend to be them.

    There is also some benefit to being anonymous online. I know a friend of mine doesn’t like using her real name online just for privacy, but not because she ever says anything bad. Think about this: people are anonymous online (women especially in this case) may get assaulted online but if nobody knows who they are then there is no way for that assault to translate into the real world. I’m not saying that being anonymous or not is better, I just think it’s a personal choice.

    I also find it particularly ironic that you suggest people should have their identities tied to some sort of official email address but you, Rick, left this comment with no email address or URL attached. I know this is a function of Scoble’s commenting system that it remains hidden, but if Scoble were not the diligent moderator that he is, I would have no way of knowing who you were if you were hypothetically saying inappropriate things.

  137. @Rick Gregory

    “@Jeff – you certainly can control things like the Digg coments. Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    Quit letting these despicable cowardly lowlives hide behind silly handles. Kevin Rose, and anyone else who enables this should be ashamed and step up to fix the problem. If they don’t, they’re condoning it as far as I’m concerned.”

    I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect everyone to have an email address that is somehow officially tied to their person? What exactly constitutes this anyway? ISP email addresses? The vast majority of people have hotmail, yahoo, gmail or some other kind of address like that. There are people who simply don’t belong to an institution that could give them such a official address, a school, people who don’t have an ISP account in their name or a domain of their own. It would be pretty unreasonable to expects sites like Digg to go through a rigorous screening process to see if email address are registered officially to an individual and they would lose most of their users. Furthermore, I’m not sure how this would technically work since I could always enter in the email address of someone else and pretend to be them.

    There is also some benefit to being anonymous online. I know a friend of mine doesn’t like using her real name online just for privacy, but not because she ever says anything bad. Think about this: people are anonymous online (women especially in this case) may get assaulted online but if nobody knows who they are then there is no way for that assault to translate into the real world. I’m not saying that being anonymous or not is better, I just think it’s a personal choice.

    I also find it particularly ironic that you suggest people should have their identities tied to some sort of official email address but you, Rick, left this comment with no email address or URL attached. I know this is a function of Scoble’s commenting system that it remains hidden, but if Scoble were not the diligent moderator that he is, I would have no way of knowing who you were if you were hypothetically saying inappropriate things.

  138. Robert sad it had to come to this point… I understand what you are going through….

  139. I’ve only been following this for a few hours now, but it nearly made me throw up my breakfast.

    Sure, the higher your presence on the web, the higher the probability that you’ll attract the scum that’s also participating on the ‘net, but this is just disgusting.

    Being disruptive is one thing, it’s what many bloggers are all about, but this isn’t disruptive anymore. Woman or not, this is the most unprofessional and antisocial way of “taking part in a discussion”.

    I hope that karma gets back to those who tried to shut up an important voice of today’s tech world.

  140. I’ve only been following this for a few hours now, but it nearly made me throw up my breakfast.

    Sure, the higher your presence on the web, the higher the probability that you’ll attract the scum that’s also participating on the ‘net, but this is just disgusting.

    Being disruptive is one thing, it’s what many bloggers are all about, but this isn’t disruptive anymore. Woman or not, this is the most unprofessional and antisocial way of “taking part in a discussion”.

    I hope that karma gets back to those who tried to shut up an important voice of today’s tech world.

  141. This whole thing is ridiculous, straight out of junior high-school, and I’m surprised you’re playing into it, Robert.

    My 69-year-old mother used to run a restaurant when she was a petite little wisp of a woman in her 20s and 30s, and was also a government employee for many years – and was threatened to her face by young men much larger/stronger (and drunker) than herself on several occasions. And yet, she didn’t sit in her house, afraid to go out, writing angsty notes in her diary, etc.; she spat in their faces and kept right on living her life.

    I don’t know about you, but my parents taught me at an early age that you don’t give in to bullies, or they just keep coming back for more. I don’t know Kathy Sierra, I’ve never read her weblog until today, but it seems to me that if she’s so shocked/horrified by all this, she’s led a -very- sheltered life. I mean, this barely rises to the level of some IRC ‘conversations’ I’ve seen, you know?

    And by acting all terrified and intimidated, she’s teaching her children a horrible lesson, IMHO.

    Anyone who’s lived out in the real world for a while has been threatened with physical violence and/or death on more than one occasion. If Miss Sierra’s reaction to this is genuine, then I think she needs some help, because it’s obvious that she is -way- too emotionally invested in the echo chamber of the ‘blogosphere’ and not well enough grounded in the real world.

    Face it, weblogs aren’t special, anymore – any fool with a keyboard and an attitude can get one. There is no ‘community’, any more than there’s a ‘community’ of all the people in the world who drive automobiles, or whatever. There are jerks everywhere; and even if one is a female single parent (I would argue -especially- if one’s a single female parent), one has a moral responsibility to stand tough, to ignore the idiots, and to set an example of courage, not cowardice, for one’s children.

    This whole thing is overblown, and this overwroughtness by a bunch of supposed adults over the idiocies of a few jerks is very disheartening to me. Have we really become so soft and easily-intimidated? That’s the real tragedy here, not Miss Sierra’s inexplicable hysteria over the equivalent of jeers from a bunch of morons.

    I really wish everyone involved in this stupidity would shut up, soldier on, and stop acting like a bunch of scared and/or self-righteous little children. You’re all playing into the hands of the morons, and don’t even seem to see it.

  142. This whole thing is ridiculous, straight out of junior high-school, and I’m surprised you’re playing into it, Robert.

    My 69-year-old mother used to run a restaurant when she was a petite little wisp of a woman in her 20s and 30s, and was also a government employee for many years – and was threatened to her face by young men much larger/stronger (and drunker) than herself on several occasions. And yet, she didn’t sit in her house, afraid to go out, writing angsty notes in her diary, etc.; she spat in their faces and kept right on living her life.

    I don’t know about you, but my parents taught me at an early age that you don’t give in to bullies, or they just keep coming back for more. I don’t know Kathy Sierra, I’ve never read her weblog until today, but it seems to me that if she’s so shocked/horrified by all this, she’s led a -very- sheltered life. I mean, this barely rises to the level of some IRC ‘conversations’ I’ve seen, you know?

    And by acting all terrified and intimidated, she’s teaching her children a horrible lesson, IMHO.

    Anyone who’s lived out in the real world for a while has been threatened with physical violence and/or death on more than one occasion. If Miss Sierra’s reaction to this is genuine, then I think she needs some help, because it’s obvious that she is -way- too emotionally invested in the echo chamber of the ‘blogosphere’ and not well enough grounded in the real world.

    Face it, weblogs aren’t special, anymore – any fool with a keyboard and an attitude can get one. There is no ‘community’, any more than there’s a ‘community’ of all the people in the world who drive automobiles, or whatever. There are jerks everywhere; and even if one is a female single parent (I would argue -especially- if one’s a single female parent), one has a moral responsibility to stand tough, to ignore the idiots, and to set an example of courage, not cowardice, for one’s children.

    This whole thing is overblown, and this overwroughtness by a bunch of supposed adults over the idiocies of a few jerks is very disheartening to me. Have we really become so soft and easily-intimidated? That’s the real tragedy here, not Miss Sierra’s inexplicable hysteria over the equivalent of jeers from a bunch of morons.

    I really wish everyone involved in this stupidity would shut up, soldier on, and stop acting like a bunch of scared and/or self-righteous little children. You’re all playing into the hands of the morons, and don’t even seem to see it.

  143. Roland, if you knew who Kathy Sierra was, you wouldnt say stuff like she’s sheltered.She travels the world, doing what she has built up herself.

    these nastys came from her peers or close to it.

    Her blogging and her real life are intertwined, she makes public appearances that co incide with her blog postings.

  144. Roland, if you knew who Kathy Sierra was, you wouldnt say stuff like she’s sheltered.She travels the world, doing what she has built up herself.

    these nastys came from her peers or close to it.

    Her blogging and her real life are intertwined, she makes public appearances that co incide with her blog postings.

  145. Although I don’t agree with some of his views, the comment from Roland Dobbins (#122) seems quite reasonable.
    What is happening with Kathy Sierra is no different then what happens in real life environments of bullying. I don’t agree you guys should retreat from blogging, you might just be doing what such short-minded individuals want: to disturb your activities for a reason or another. You should realize that if I dislike your point of views I could easily pretend to be a maniac who wants to do you harm, threatening you so that you stop doing what you are doing, however I would never be able to do that (I’m just too nice for that).
    There’s only two alternatives here: leave it to the authorities, as you’re supposed to, or handle the problem yourselves (anarchy-style, which I don’t agree with).
    Myself, I would ask that less-then-worm-individual to show his real threats in my face. Most of the times, they don’t. And if they do, they’d remember that other persons can also get crazy…

  146. Although I don’t agree with some of his views, the comment from Roland Dobbins (#122) seems quite reasonable.
    What is happening with Kathy Sierra is no different then what happens in real life environments of bullying. I don’t agree you guys should retreat from blogging, you might just be doing what such short-minded individuals want: to disturb your activities for a reason or another. You should realize that if I dislike your point of views I could easily pretend to be a maniac who wants to do you harm, threatening you so that you stop doing what you are doing, however I would never be able to do that (I’m just too nice for that).
    There’s only two alternatives here: leave it to the authorities, as you’re supposed to, or handle the problem yourselves (anarchy-style, which I don’t agree with).
    Myself, I would ask that less-then-worm-individual to show his real threats in my face. Most of the times, they don’t. And if they do, they’d remember that other persons can also get crazy…

  147. Anyone who posts on a blog or forum can potentially be traced if the hosts and Webmaster cooperates

    Being in the professional Bodyguard business we certainly empathize with the extreme turmoil she and you are going through!

    Both of you are very well respected and liked by thousands worldwide, if is disgusting when a few rotten apples ruin it for everyone :-)

  148. Anyone who posts on a blog or forum can potentially be traced if the hosts and Webmaster cooperates

    Being in the professional Bodyguard business we certainly empathize with the extreme turmoil she and you are going through!

    Both of you are very well respected and liked by thousands worldwide, if is disgusting when a few rotten apples ruin it for everyone :-)

  149. Roland, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    You’re skipping a step here. Just because “weblogs aren’t special anymore” and “this barely rises to the level of some IRC ‘conversations’ I’ve seen” means zilch. So what – you’ve seen worse and that makes it all okay?

    The dialogue has been about solving the problem, thankfully, and that’s what the most mature, responsible adults are doing. Future discussions about stronger accountability is in order, not stronger skin. Just because the blogosphere serves up crass, irrelevant vulgarity so often doesn’t mean we have to start spitting in people’s faces.

    Truth is, the internets is still just people. People behind layers of technology, but people just the same. The vulgar, hyper-sexualized, offensively threatening comment, voiced in the public arena as a sound byte would spell absolute ruination for whoever spoke it. In an age of swift and brutal YouTube character assassinations, where a reputation can turn on a single word, a layer of internet anonymity does not excuse the same.

    It sounds like you’re the one confusing the blogosphere for the real world. Behind the sphere are people. And people should be held accountable in the blogosphere just as severely as they are held accountable in real life. Does the death threat seem more real on a voice message? As a handwritten note? How about verbally in a dark alley? Now make the threat anonymous and electronic. Now it’s ok. Toughen up. Following?

    I know you know everyone’s different, Roland. But just because you and your mother can supposedly withstand the vitriolic filth of vulgar death threats doesn’t mean we have to.

  150. Roland, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    You’re skipping a step here. Just because “weblogs aren’t special anymore” and “this barely rises to the level of some IRC ‘conversations’ I’ve seen” means zilch. So what – you’ve seen worse and that makes it all okay?

    The dialogue has been about solving the problem, thankfully, and that’s what the most mature, responsible adults are doing. Future discussions about stronger accountability is in order, not stronger skin. Just because the blogosphere serves up crass, irrelevant vulgarity so often doesn’t mean we have to start spitting in people’s faces.

    Truth is, the internets is still just people. People behind layers of technology, but people just the same. The vulgar, hyper-sexualized, offensively threatening comment, voiced in the public arena as a sound byte would spell absolute ruination for whoever spoke it. In an age of swift and brutal YouTube character assassinations, where a reputation can turn on a single word, a layer of internet anonymity does not excuse the same.

    It sounds like you’re the one confusing the blogosphere for the real world. Behind the sphere are people. And people should be held accountable in the blogosphere just as severely as they are held accountable in real life. Does the death threat seem more real on a voice message? As a handwritten note? How about verbally in a dark alley? Now make the threat anonymous and electronic. Now it’s ok. Toughen up. Following?

    I know you know everyone’s different, Roland. But just because you and your mother can supposedly withstand the vitriolic filth of vulgar death threats doesn’t mean we have to.

  151. Roland, you should stop for a moment and think about what you’re saying. Just because your mother was harassed doesn’t mean she wasn’t affected. Just because she was harassed doesn’t make it right.

    You’re saying that women should put up with this. I’m saying that women shoudln’t put up with this.

    Open your eyes, there is a systematic oppression going on. Women are being harassed because of their sex – not because of their opinions or views – to an infinitely bigger extent than men are.

  152. Roland, you should stop for a moment and think about what you’re saying. Just because your mother was harassed doesn’t mean she wasn’t affected. Just because she was harassed doesn’t make it right.

    You’re saying that women should put up with this. I’m saying that women shoudln’t put up with this.

    Open your eyes, there is a systematic oppression going on. Women are being harassed because of their sex – not because of their opinions or views – to an infinitely bigger extent than men are.

  153. Those who did this are just pathetic… It is a real shame that people with so much time on their hands can find nothing better to do than insult and threaten others!They are pathetic and don’t deserve the time of day but deserve to be put in a deep dark hole.

    I don’t think that stopping to Blog is the right answer. You are just giving in to them and that is wrong in itself. IMHO we need to keep blogging and prove these ppl wrong!!!

  154. Roland Dobbins–sorry, but you really have NO idea what you’re talking about. I’ve been threatened and I’m a single parent, but I “soldiered on,” but I sure as hell wouldn’t show up at a place where my stalker is likely to be. You just DON’T know what those psychos are like in real life, although the remarks themselves are a pretty good indication of their sanity (or rather, the lack thereof).

    Robert, I don’t blame you for “going on strike” for a week. I’ve had it with the stupidity I see all over the blogosphere, and really don’t even want to be associated with blogging much any more because of it. Sure, most bloggers with any kind of readership are fine, but it’s that ugly minority that gives ALL bloggers a bad name. I’m speaking as a political blogger, and you know the political blogosphere is particularly rough, with some deranged opponents digging into other bloggers’ personal lives and history for “dirt.” But the filth directed at Kathy is just beyond the pale.

    I may stand down for a week myself, just to register my disgust with the way stupid people act from behind their computer screens. Enough is enough.

  155. Roland Dobbins–sorry, but you really have NO idea what you’re talking about. I’ve been threatened and I’m a single parent, but I “soldiered on,” but I sure as hell wouldn’t show up at a place where my stalker is likely to be. You just DON’T know what those psychos are like in real life, although the remarks themselves are a pretty good indication of their sanity (or rather, the lack thereof).

    Robert, I don’t blame you for “going on strike” for a week. I’ve had it with the stupidity I see all over the blogosphere, and really don’t even want to be associated with blogging much any more because of it. Sure, most bloggers with any kind of readership are fine, but it’s that ugly minority that gives ALL bloggers a bad name. I’m speaking as a political blogger, and you know the political blogosphere is particularly rough, with some deranged opponents digging into other bloggers’ personal lives and history for “dirt.” But the filth directed at Kathy is just beyond the pale.

    I may stand down for a week myself, just to register my disgust with the way stupid people act from behind their computer screens. Enough is enough.

  156. Those who did this are just pathetic… It is a real shame that people with so much time on their hands can find nothing better to do than insult and threaten others!They are pathetic and don’t deserve the time of day but deserve to be put in a deep dark hole.

    I don’t think that stopping to Blog is the right answer. You are just giving in to them and that is wrong in itself. IMHO we need to keep blogging and prove these ppl wrong!!!

  157. Hey Robert, thanks for talking with me today, and I am sorry about the negative comments in the Justin.tv chatrooms.

    To address the concerns with the problems with hateful/juvenile speech in the Justin.tv chatrooms: we are working hard on making Justin.tv a place that brings people together in a positive way, and definitely don’t want to encourage this kind of negative behavior. While it may seem like right now we are passively allowing bad stuff to occur on the site, we have been taking steps to clean up the chat: we’re building moderator status, have IP banning, now requiring login, etc. Unfortunately, coding takes time, and we’re faced with working on these problems as we concurrently tackle scaling an exploding site.

    Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect when we launched the first lifecast. What we’ve found is that there’s a lot of good, and a few bad things (cop pranks, people spamming our phones, abusive chat) that we’re fixing one at a time. Hopefully soon we’ll have a site that has a positive and not destructive community.

  158. Hey Robert, thanks for talking with me today, and I am sorry about the negative comments in the Justin.tv chatrooms.

    To address the concerns with the problems with hateful/juvenile speech in the Justin.tv chatrooms: we are working hard on making Justin.tv a place that brings people together in a positive way, and definitely don’t want to encourage this kind of negative behavior. While it may seem like right now we are passively allowing bad stuff to occur on the site, we have been taking steps to clean up the chat: we’re building moderator status, have IP banning, now requiring login, etc. Unfortunately, coding takes time, and we’re faced with working on these problems as we concurrently tackle scaling an exploding site.

    Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect when we launched the first lifecast. What we’ve found is that there’s a lot of good, and a few bad things (cop pranks, people spamming our phones, abusive chat) that we’re fixing one at a time. Hopefully soon we’ll have a site that has a positive and not destructive community.

  159. Kids, I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the “little” death, not a real one. But my pants still fit, so what do I know?

    “Why didn’t they get it the first time when I said “retired”? That usually is followed by “fixed income”.
    …And then my baggy pants fell down at the meat market.
    The only thing Kathy has to offer me is that noose in her own neck size ;)”

  160. Kids, I’m pretty sure he’s talking about the “little” death, not a real one. But my pants still fit, so what do I know?

    “Why didn’t they get it the first time when I said “retired”? That usually is followed by “fixed income”.
    …And then my baggy pants fell down at the meat market.
    The only thing Kathy has to offer me is that noose in her own neck size ;)”

  161. Robert,

    You should add this to the bottom of this post before you take the week off:

    [digg=http://scobleizer.com/2007/03/26/taking-the-week-off/]

    `[digg=http://scobleizer.com/2007/03/26/taking-the-week-off/]`

    quotes

  162. Robert,

    You should add this to the bottom of this post before you take the week off:

    [digg=http://scobleizer.com/2007/03/26/taking-the-week-off/]

    `[digg=http://scobleizer.com/2007/03/26/taking-the-week-off/]`

    quotes

  163. Roland, I couldn’t disagree more. Daniel R., thanks for the voice of reason — I won’t go into horrible detail here, but I have lost count of the number of women who have emailed and called me about the horrifying, detailed abuse they experience online (rape, dismemberment, you name it). I wrote more about it here: http://blogher.org/node/17319. (And Daniel, to your point, you’ll see that I link another post I did on a guide to laws in the lower 48.)

    Robert, Maryam, have a wonderful week off. Thinking of you.

  164. Roland, I couldn’t disagree more. Daniel R., thanks for the voice of reason — I won’t go into horrible detail here, but I have lost count of the number of women who have emailed and called me about the horrifying, detailed abuse they experience online (rape, dismemberment, you name it). I wrote more about it here: http://blogher.org/node/17319. (And Daniel, to your point, you’ll see that I link another post I did on a guide to laws in the lower 48.)

    Robert, Maryam, have a wonderful week off. Thinking of you.

  165. Jeff Hume – “socially moderated conversation”. Some types of conversation are not for social moderation (full stop). This is why it’s illegal to talk about killing jews in Germany for example. There are times when you don’t leave stuff to public debate. Why don’t you just stop debating about the semantics of Robert’s post and just allow the main message to remain clear in everyone’s minds.

    All you’re doing is detracting from the message that Robert is voicing. So, what I’m saying is, SHUT UP.

  166. Jeff Hume – “socially moderated conversation”. Some types of conversation are not for social moderation (full stop). This is why it’s illegal to talk about killing jews in Germany for example. There are times when you don’t leave stuff to public debate. Why don’t you just stop debating about the semantics of Robert’s post and just allow the main message to remain clear in everyone’s minds.

    All you’re doing is detracting from the message that Robert is voicing. So, what I’m saying is, SHUT UP.

  167. There are so many things wrong with all of this. Not just the incident itself, but also with the responses to it, with the blog culture in general, as well as with overall modern society. I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes trying to figure out a way to express my feelings on this in a way that would take up less than several thousand words, and I’m not sure I can. So I’ll just try to make a few points.

    First, Robert, you too, in a way, are part of the problem. Why? Because you don’t care if you personally are attacked, as if it’s somehow okay, or at least par for the course, purely because you are male. Well, I’m male, and I do not blog, even though I think (if I do say so myself) that I have plenty of worthy thoughts to add to the conversation. I don’t do it because I know that, at some point, I’ll have my name, address, and phone number posted, my past explored and written about, my inbox filled with profanities and threats, etc. Perhaps it is par for the course, but it shouldn’t be. The way my brain is wired, it simply would not be worth the mental and emotional strain that such attacks would put on me. I know that many people, perhaps even a majority, will read this and respond with some variation of “Shut up and grow a pair or just stay out of the game,” but to me, that’s nothing but a lame cop-out. We’re talking about being allowed to engage in simple interpersonal communication here, not the verbal equivalent of skydiving. And I don’t know very many people that consider others to be “wimps” simply because they don’t want to jump out of a plane at 20,000 feet.

    Second, we are ALL the problem, to some extent or another. Anyone here who’s ever given a single hit to Gawker or Radar Online, or who even reads a newspaper gossip column, helps to perpetuate the culture of venom.

    Third, there’s no “in between” here. If the blogosphere is only willing to start fighting back when attacks get to the point of overt death threats with abusive sexual overtunes towards those who are already extremely well known, the battle has already been forfeited, and we’ve lost.

    Fourth, anonymity is of only limited benefit. Sure, I could blog under an anonymous name, but that would only work for as long as I wanted to remain SO anonymous that I never felt like engaging in anything beyond an encrypted IM session or emails with other people. The moment I befriend another blogger, start making phone calls to gather information for my posts, or attend a blog meet, enough of my personal data becomes available that just about anyone can go after me, if they really want to. And as I noted in my third point above, if that did happen, very few people would come to my defense, if only because I’m not already famous enough. How many thousands of potentially excellent bloggers are staying on the sidelines because of this?

    Lastly, let’s please refrain from framing this as a matter of misogyny, and the overall issue as one that only affects female bloggers. This particular incident happens to have particularly misogynistic overtones, but the underlying cause is pure malicious nastiness ….. misogyny just happens to have been the way in which this one incident was expressed.

  168. There are so many things wrong with all of this. Not just the incident itself, but also with the responses to it, with the blog culture in general, as well as with overall modern society. I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes trying to figure out a way to express my feelings on this in a way that would take up less than several thousand words, and I’m not sure I can. So I’ll just try to make a few points.

    First, Robert, you too, in a way, are part of the problem. Why? Because you don’t care if you personally are attacked, as if it’s somehow okay, or at least par for the course, purely because you are male. Well, I’m male, and I do not blog, even though I think (if I do say so myself) that I have plenty of worthy thoughts to add to the conversation. I don’t do it because I know that, at some point, I’ll have my name, address, and phone number posted, my past explored and written about, my inbox filled with profanities and threats, etc. Perhaps it is par for the course, but it shouldn’t be. The way my brain is wired, it simply would not be worth the mental and emotional strain that such attacks would put on me. I know that many people, perhaps even a majority, will read this and respond with some variation of “Shut up and grow a pair or just stay out of the game,” but to me, that’s nothing but a lame cop-out. We’re talking about being allowed to engage in simple interpersonal communication here, not the verbal equivalent of skydiving. And I don’t know very many people that consider others to be “wimps” simply because they don’t want to jump out of a plane at 20,000 feet.

    Second, we are ALL the problem, to some extent or another. Anyone here who’s ever given a single hit to Gawker or Radar Online, or who even reads a newspaper gossip column, helps to perpetuate the culture of venom.

    Third, there’s no “in between” here. If the blogosphere is only willing to start fighting back when attacks get to the point of overt death threats with abusive sexual overtunes towards those who are already extremely well known, the battle has already been forfeited, and we’ve lost.

    Fourth, anonymity is of only limited benefit. Sure, I could blog under an anonymous name, but that would only work for as long as I wanted to remain SO anonymous that I never felt like engaging in anything beyond an encrypted IM session or emails with other people. The moment I befriend another blogger, start making phone calls to gather information for my posts, or attend a blog meet, enough of my personal data becomes available that just about anyone can go after me, if they really want to. And as I noted in my third point above, if that did happen, very few people would come to my defense, if only because I’m not already famous enough. How many thousands of potentially excellent bloggers are staying on the sidelines because of this?

    Lastly, let’s please refrain from framing this as a matter of misogyny, and the overall issue as one that only affects female bloggers. This particular incident happens to have particularly misogynistic overtones, but the underlying cause is pure malicious nastiness ….. misogyny just happens to have been the way in which this one incident was expressed.

  169. “Maryam is really freaked out about it. So am I.”

    Admitting that is all the win that these people want. Don’t give them what they want!

  170. “Maryam is really freaked out about it. So am I.”

    Admitting that is all the win that these people want. Don’t give them what they want!

  171. Am I missing a point here? Robert says that “only one of the four Kathy specifically mentioned has apologised”. Apologised for what? For criticising her? She’s not explicitly accusing any of those four people with threatening her – she says the threats came from so-called anonymous comments. As far as I can see, the worst that Paynter, Sessum, Herrel and Locke have done is expressed criticism.

  172. Am I missing a point here? Robert says that “only one of the four Kathy specifically mentioned has apologised”. Apologised for what? For criticising her? She’s not explicitly accusing any of those four people with threatening her – she says the threats came from so-called anonymous comments. As far as I can see, the worst that Paynter, Sessum, Herrel and Locke have done is expressed criticism.

  173. I’m a woman in the tech field. A programmer, to be more exact. I’m also in Europe.

    First a word about women in tech generally.

    When I entered the field – more years ago than I care to admit – there was around 1 woman on every 200 men. They treated us with general respect, but didn’t take us seriously. Some were scared, others defended their beat. We generally reacted by behaving like the men, strutting, swearing and defending our beat.

    Things have changed considerably since then. The men don’t treat us like rare flowers any more, which means that they – ever so slowly – start taking us seriously. But we’re still not fully integrated and so we tend to huddle together. Only that we don’t huddle around the coffee machine, but at the desk of a colleague. The coffee machine is enemy country. The good part is that we have somebody to huddle with, the bad part is that we protect the less competent to the point of dragging them along and covering up their mistakes.

    I see another change in the last years: women who simply do their thing, with no regard to outward appearances. There are as many assholes among them as there are assholes in any group of men. Which is a good thing, because it means that we’re becoming normal. We still have to make the men see the instruments at the start, but once they get over their cockishness, they start working with us. Men tell me that there are still remarks about bodily features, but at least they don’t dare say it in our faces (with snickering male colleagues around us) and they get a good deal of heat for that from other men. And believe it or not: the men on the woman’s side are often the alpha-males, the bosses and the leaders of the meritocracy.

    Which leads me to the conclusion that men who attack women sexually are either insecure or quite aware of their low competence and that they can’t hope to rise in the meritocracy without putting at least the female part of the competition out by those attacks.

    And now to the second part: my idea of how we solve the problem.

    We need the men’s help for that, because most remarks are made in the men’s coffee machine circles. When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary. Make it clear that the attacker is a coward and ask him whether he’s afraid of the competition. Make him feel bad for attacking a woman instead of earning his standing by competence. Don’t just tell him that women are just as competent (some certainly are not, while some are), but tell him that he needs to earn a standing before he may comment on a woman’s competence.

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*. We need to stop worrying whether we’re better than the men in our teams, because we’re not: we’re better than some, as good as some and worse than some. We need to arrive at a normality.

    The only people who attack others on the basis of their gender are those who have no arguments. If those pathetic assholes are shunned by everybody, they *will* come around or go away.

    As to insults and death threats: well, that’s the police’ work. Let them solve the problem and make sure that they do by nagging them about the progress of the case. People who threaten others with death are dangerous criminals. They’re no longer “ours”, they’re out of the community and no longer ours to deal with. We need this to be abundantly clear and if we catch a few trolls (read: not part of “ours” to begin with) along the way, it won’t hurt us.

  174. I’m a woman in the tech field. A programmer, to be more exact. I’m also in Europe.

    First a word about women in tech generally.

    When I entered the field – more years ago than I care to admit – there was around 1 woman on every 200 men. They treated us with general respect, but didn’t take us seriously. Some were scared, others defended their beat. We generally reacted by behaving like the men, strutting, swearing and defending our beat.

    Things have changed considerably since then. The men don’t treat us like rare flowers any more, which means that they – ever so slowly – start taking us seriously. But we’re still not fully integrated and so we tend to huddle together. Only that we don’t huddle around the coffee machine, but at the desk of a colleague. The coffee machine is enemy country. The good part is that we have somebody to huddle with, the bad part is that we protect the less competent to the point of dragging them along and covering up their mistakes.

    I see another change in the last years: women who simply do their thing, with no regard to outward appearances. There are as many assholes among them as there are assholes in any group of men. Which is a good thing, because it means that we’re becoming normal. We still have to make the men see the instruments at the start, but once they get over their cockishness, they start working with us. Men tell me that there are still remarks about bodily features, but at least they don’t dare say it in our faces (with snickering male colleagues around us) and they get a good deal of heat for that from other men. And believe it or not: the men on the woman’s side are often the alpha-males, the bosses and the leaders of the meritocracy.

    Which leads me to the conclusion that men who attack women sexually are either insecure or quite aware of their low competence and that they can’t hope to rise in the meritocracy without putting at least the female part of the competition out by those attacks.

    And now to the second part: my idea of how we solve the problem.

    We need the men’s help for that, because most remarks are made in the men’s coffee machine circles. When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary. Make it clear that the attacker is a coward and ask him whether he’s afraid of the competition. Make him feel bad for attacking a woman instead of earning his standing by competence. Don’t just tell him that women are just as competent (some certainly are not, while some are), but tell him that he needs to earn a standing before he may comment on a woman’s competence.

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*. We need to stop worrying whether we’re better than the men in our teams, because we’re not: we’re better than some, as good as some and worse than some. We need to arrive at a normality.

    The only people who attack others on the basis of their gender are those who have no arguments. If those pathetic assholes are shunned by everybody, they *will* come around or go away.

    As to insults and death threats: well, that’s the police’ work. Let them solve the problem and make sure that they do by nagging them about the progress of the case. People who threaten others with death are dangerous criminals. They’re no longer “ours”, they’re out of the community and no longer ours to deal with. We need this to be abundantly clear and if we catch a few trolls (read: not part of “ours” to begin with) along the way, it won’t hurt us.

  175. Robert, you have my full backing.

    What these people have said about Kathy Sierra is totally out of order and I look forwards to their arrest by the police.

    I also *urge* owners of blogs to stamp out this behaviour and show that it is not tolerated. If you get sexist comments on your blog – such as those on TechCrunch when they posted a ScobleShow video of Ning – delete them!

  176. Robert, you have my full backing.

    What these people have said about Kathy Sierra is totally out of order and I look forwards to their arrest by the police.

    I also *urge* owners of blogs to stamp out this behaviour and show that it is not tolerated. If you get sexist comments on your blog – such as those on TechCrunch when they posted a ScobleShow video of Ning – delete them!

  177. This is so sick. I had death and rape threats as a novice/fairly anonymous blogger (three months in). I learned pretty quickly that as a black woman especially, hate comes with blogging. Thank goodness Kathy has most people’s support especially from those who carry a lot of weight for what they say. I hope this post doesn’t go the way of most, “Here today, Gone tomorrow”. It’s not about letting them win, it’s about standing up and saying we will not put up with this and supporting someone who feels threatened by this. I felt violated too. (I don’t care how irrational people might think I’m being, the threats were very real to me)

    I don’t know the answer to this problem. All I can hope is that enough “influential people” stand up and announce that they will not allow haters to use their places for their venom. And that somehow, people would realise that some incredibly talented and potentially important bloggers are being lost to this very really threat.(BTW I try to be VERY anonymous because I have to be that way. Not because I want to be that way)

  178. This is so sick. I had death and rape threats as a novice/fairly anonymous blogger (three months in). I learned pretty quickly that as a black woman especially, hate comes with blogging. Thank goodness Kathy has most people’s support especially from those who carry a lot of weight for what they say. I hope this post doesn’t go the way of most, “Here today, Gone tomorrow”. It’s not about letting them win, it’s about standing up and saying we will not put up with this and supporting someone who feels threatened by this. I felt violated too. (I don’t care how irrational people might think I’m being, the threats were very real to me)

    I don’t know the answer to this problem. All I can hope is that enough “influential people” stand up and announce that they will not allow haters to use their places for their venom. And that somehow, people would realise that some incredibly talented and potentially important bloggers are being lost to this very really threat.(BTW I try to be VERY anonymous because I have to be that way. Not because I want to be that way)

  179. TO: Robert Scoble
    RE: Welcome….

    “We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.” — Robert Scoble

    …to the World of the Great Apostasy — Morpheus, paraphrased.

    That’s a clue about the long-term ‘fix’.

    Short term involves learning to be prepared when the proverbial ‘evil day’ shows up. But it also involves daily application of the long-term fix, with specifics as to application in the blogosphere as well as everyday life.

    The problem is convincing people who see these messages to put the approach into effect in their own lives. But the simple truth of the matter is that if you love other people more than you love yourself, you’re less inclined to do the sorts of things these people have done vis-a-vis Kathy S.

    It won’t completely solve the problem. The sociopaths are always with us. But it helps us by our not becoming sociopaths as a response to their mental illness.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions. -- Hacker's Law]

  180. TO: Robert Scoble
    RE: Welcome….

    “We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.” — Robert Scoble

    …to the World of the Great Apostasy — Morpheus, paraphrased.

    That’s a clue about the long-term ‘fix’.

    Short term involves learning to be prepared when the proverbial ‘evil day’ shows up. But it also involves daily application of the long-term fix, with specifics as to application in the blogosphere as well as everyday life.

    The problem is convincing people who see these messages to put the approach into effect in their own lives. But the simple truth of the matter is that if you love other people more than you love yourself, you’re less inclined to do the sorts of things these people have done vis-a-vis Kathy S.

    It won’t completely solve the problem. The sociopaths are always with us. But it helps us by our not becoming sociopaths as a response to their mental illness.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions. -- Hacker's Law]

  181. TO: All
    RE: Ahem…

    “When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary.” — Anna

    …as I was saying (above).

    This sort of angry response is an indicator of someone becoming a sociopath in their own right. They may think it cute, but would they REALLY want someone to come around and show THEM ‘the light’…with a power drill?

    I have serious doubts that they’d like it. Let alone benefit from the lesson.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Blood begets blood.]

  182. TO: All
    RE: Ahem…

    “When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary.” — Anna

    …as I was saying (above).

    This sort of angry response is an indicator of someone becoming a sociopath in their own right. They may think it cute, but would they REALLY want someone to come around and show THEM ‘the light’…with a power drill?

    I have serious doubts that they’d like it. Let alone benefit from the lesson.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Blood begets blood.]

  183. I’m totally shocked by this. Together with some colleagues and friends I decided to share all the blogposts I can find about this topic for 2 reasons:
    1. To share with the readers who missed the news
    2. Hoping they will spread the news with their readers.
    Anyway, I was wondering if we could make some sort of a banner which can be shared an placed on weblogs who fight against this issue? At the moment I have no idea what to place on the banner, it is just an idea

  184. I’m totally shocked by this. Together with some colleagues and friends I decided to share all the blogposts I can find about this topic for 2 reasons:
    1. To share with the readers who missed the news
    2. Hoping they will spread the news with their readers.
    Anyway, I was wondering if we could make some sort of a banner which can be shared an placed on weblogs who fight against this issue? At the moment I have no idea what to place on the banner, it is just an idea

  185. I didn’t realize until just now how vile the stuff was over on MeanKids.org. Someone just sent me what they wrote about Maryam and me (it’s in a cache on Google, it’s so vile I won’t even point to it here).

    I want an apology from each of the people involved.

    This shit is simply not to be accepted online. Particularly from other bloggers.

    I want to know who wrote that, and I want a personal apology IN PUBLIC from each person involved in making of MeanKids.org.

    I am SO pissed right now I can’t even see straight. This stuff hurts and hurts deep.

  186. I didn’t realize until just now how vile the stuff was over on MeanKids.org. Someone just sent me what they wrote about Maryam and me (it’s in a cache on Google, it’s so vile I won’t even point to it here).

    I want an apology from each of the people involved.

    This shit is simply not to be accepted online. Particularly from other bloggers.

    I want to know who wrote that, and I want a personal apology IN PUBLIC from each person involved in making of MeanKids.org.

    I am SO pissed right now I can’t even see straight. This stuff hurts and hurts deep.

  187. [...] Scoble is taking the week off blogging, because of this.  More on Techmeme.   I don’t like this.  I don’t support it.  Kathy – I don’t know how I can be of any assistance, but please know you have my support and sympathy.  I’m terribly sorry that hateful people have made you fear for your life.  I think it is awful. [...]

  188. It’s easy to say that you’d shut down your comments, but Digg can’t really shut things down instantaneously without alienating their whole userbase and destroying their site, considering that the comments are basically what Digg is all about

    Nonsense. The comments are about as useful as tits on a bull, only less attractive. The Diggs are the useful parts. Anyone with a brain ignores the comments, they’ve no value at all.

    Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    That’s a nice idea, but most ISPs won’t allow this. It would open them up to far too many spam attacks. As well, I know far too many people who get real work done with Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Now you’re just punishing the good for not choosing the email service you approve of.

    “We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today.”

    Your kidding right? On a globe where ethnic clensing and widespread civil war and rebellion are common, yoru going to call America the most violent culture in the world? Hell, even if you add in the war dead, we still don’t come close.

    Now why let reality get in the way of hyperbole and hysteria?

    While it may seem like right now we are passively allowing bad stuff to occur on the site, we have been taking steps to clean up the chat: we’re building moderator status, have IP banning, now requiring login, etc. Unfortunately, coding takes time, and we’re faced with working on these problems as we concurrently tackle scaling an exploding site.

    Huh? Justin, these are well-solved problems, it’s called IRC. Both traditional and web versions like WWB have been doing this for years. Instead of re-inventing that wheel again, why not just use what’s available already and integrate it in? What, you’re going to recreate IRC in some extra-special fashion that hasn’t been around for ten years or more?

    Lord, save us from NIH in all its varied forms.

    We need the men’s help for that, because most remarks are made in the men’s coffee machine circles. When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary.

    So, why is random violence okay when someone says “Nice cans”? I’m wondering about the calculus here. Because it sounds like, as long as it’s done for reasons you approve of, then mob justice is okay.

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*.

    Right. Because you can do that in utter safety. You can take a friggin’ stapler to a guy for *any* reason, and know that the odds of him even defending himself are pretty low. Once you hit someone for any reason other than a clear and present physical threat, and no, “nice rack” or “I’d like to do her” are NOT the same, you’re guilty of assault. Period. It’s wrong when men do it, it’s wrong when women do it.

    The hypocrisy in statements like that amuses me. It also perpetuates the problem. It’s wrong to advocate violence against one person, but it’s OKAY to advocate violence against any guy who says something you don’t LIKE?

    Doesn’t that make your head hurt?

    I also *urge* owners of blogs to stamp out this behaviour and show that it is not tolerated. If you get sexist comments on your blog – such as those on TechCrunch when they posted a ScobleShow video of Ning – delete them!

    Shit no. I mock them. I find that a proper public mockery dogpile is far more effective than deleting things. I delete for two reasons. Well one really. If I find you terminally lame and boring, I delete, because those are the real sins. Lame and boring. Covers quite a bit actually.

    This is starting to turn into hysteria, and quite frankly, that’s never going to help.

  189. It’s easy to say that you’d shut down your comments, but Digg can’t really shut things down instantaneously without alienating their whole userbase and destroying their site, considering that the comments are basically what Digg is all about

    Nonsense. The comments are about as useful as tits on a bull, only less attractive. The Diggs are the useful parts. Anyone with a brain ignores the comments, they’ve no value at all.

    Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    That’s a nice idea, but most ISPs won’t allow this. It would open them up to far too many spam attacks. As well, I know far too many people who get real work done with Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Now you’re just punishing the good for not choosing the email service you approve of.

    “We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today.”

    Your kidding right? On a globe where ethnic clensing and widespread civil war and rebellion are common, yoru going to call America the most violent culture in the world? Hell, even if you add in the war dead, we still don’t come close.

    Now why let reality get in the way of hyperbole and hysteria?

    While it may seem like right now we are passively allowing bad stuff to occur on the site, we have been taking steps to clean up the chat: we’re building moderator status, have IP banning, now requiring login, etc. Unfortunately, coding takes time, and we’re faced with working on these problems as we concurrently tackle scaling an exploding site.

    Huh? Justin, these are well-solved problems, it’s called IRC. Both traditional and web versions like WWB have been doing this for years. Instead of re-inventing that wheel again, why not just use what’s available already and integrate it in? What, you’re going to recreate IRC in some extra-special fashion that hasn’t been around for ten years or more?

    Lord, save us from NIH in all its varied forms.

    We need the men’s help for that, because most remarks are made in the men’s coffee machine circles. When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary.

    So, why is random violence okay when someone says “Nice cans”? I’m wondering about the calculus here. Because it sounds like, as long as it’s done for reasons you approve of, then mob justice is okay.

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*.

    Right. Because you can do that in utter safety. You can take a friggin’ stapler to a guy for *any* reason, and know that the odds of him even defending himself are pretty low. Once you hit someone for any reason other than a clear and present physical threat, and no, “nice rack” or “I’d like to do her” are NOT the same, you’re guilty of assault. Period. It’s wrong when men do it, it’s wrong when women do it.

    The hypocrisy in statements like that amuses me. It also perpetuates the problem. It’s wrong to advocate violence against one person, but it’s OKAY to advocate violence against any guy who says something you don’t LIKE?

    Doesn’t that make your head hurt?

    I also *urge* owners of blogs to stamp out this behaviour and show that it is not tolerated. If you get sexist comments on your blog – such as those on TechCrunch when they posted a ScobleShow video of Ning – delete them!

    Shit no. I mock them. I find that a proper public mockery dogpile is far more effective than deleting things. I delete for two reasons. Well one really. If I find you terminally lame and boring, I delete, because those are the real sins. Lame and boring. Covers quite a bit actually.

    This is starting to turn into hysteria, and quite frankly, that’s never going to help.

  190. It’s easy to say that you’d shut down your comments, but Digg can’t really shut things down instantaneously without alienating their whole userbase and destroying their site, considering that the comments are basically what Digg is all about

    Nonsense. The comments are about as useful as tits on a bull, only less attractive. The Diggs are the useful parts. Anyone with a brain ignores the comments, they’ve no value at all.

    Have a real name policy. Everyone has to use a real name and a verified email address on a non-web domain (no hotmail, yahoo, etc). Sure, I could signup as George Bush… but if yo insist that the everyone opt-in via an email address that tied to a person, then the name itself doesn’t matter much.

    That’s a nice idea, but most ISPs won’t allow this. It would open them up to far too many spam attacks. As well, I know far too many people who get real work done with Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Now you’re just punishing the good for not choosing the email service you approve of.

    “We have quite possible the most violent and narcissistic culture in the world today.”

    Your kidding right? On a globe where ethnic clensing and widespread civil war and rebellion are common, yoru going to call America the most violent culture in the world? Hell, even if you add in the war dead, we still don’t come close.

    Now why let reality get in the way of hyperbole and hysteria?

    While it may seem like right now we are passively allowing bad stuff to occur on the site, we have been taking steps to clean up the chat: we’re building moderator status, have IP banning, now requiring login, etc. Unfortunately, coding takes time, and we’re faced with working on these problems as we concurrently tackle scaling an exploding site.

    Huh? Justin, these are well-solved problems, it’s called IRC. Both traditional and web versions like WWB have been doing this for years. Instead of re-inventing that wheel again, why not just use what’s available already and integrate it in? What, you’re going to recreate IRC in some extra-special fashion that hasn’t been around for ten years or more?

    Lord, save us from NIH in all its varied forms.

    We need the men’s help for that, because most remarks are made in the men’s coffee machine circles. When someone makes remarks about a woman’s body, make him see the light. With a power drill, if necessary.

    So, why is random violence okay when someone says “Nice cans”? I’m wondering about the calculus here. Because it sounds like, as long as it’s done for reasons you approve of, then mob justice is okay.

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*.

    Right. Because you can do that in utter safety. You can take a friggin’ stapler to a guy for *any* reason, and know that the odds of him even defending himself are pretty low. Once you hit someone for any reason other than a clear and present physical threat, and no, “nice rack” or “I’d like to do her” are NOT the same, you’re guilty of assault. Period. It’s wrong when men do it, it’s wrong when women do it.

    The hypocrisy in statements like that amuses me. It also perpetuates the problem. It’s wrong to advocate violence against one person, but it’s OKAY to advocate violence against any guy who says something you don’t LIKE?

    Doesn’t that make your head hurt?

    I also *urge* owners of blogs to stamp out this behaviour and show that it is not tolerated. If you get sexist comments on your blog – such as those on TechCrunch when they posted a ScobleShow video of Ning – delete them!

    Shit no. I mock them. I find that a proper public mockery dogpile is far more effective than deleting things. I delete for two reasons. Well one really. If I find you terminally lame and boring, I delete, because those are the real sins. Lame and boring. Covers quite a bit actually.

    This is starting to turn into hysteria, and quite frankly, that’s never going to help.

  191. Shakespeare’s play: “Much ado about nothing”. Forgive and forget, stagnation kills, don’t let that happen to you, that is what guilt, offence and remorse does. Don’t let that happen to you, go on with your lives happily bringing joy back to God.

  192. Shakespeare’s play: “Much ado about nothing”. Forgive and forget, stagnation kills, don’t let that happen to you, that is what guilt, offence and remorse does. Don’t let that happen to you, go on with your lives happily bringing joy back to God.

  193. Shakespeare’s play: “Much ado about nothing”. Forgive and forget, stagnation kills, don’t let that happen to you, that is what guilt, offence and remorse does. Don’t let that happen to you, go on with your lives happily bringing joy back to God.

  194. Whilst these threats are frightening to the recipient in all liklehood they are a bunch of junveniles doing whatever it takes to get noticed. The moral panic on this site and others probably plays into their hands and will only exacerbate the situation.

    It’s probably better that responsible site owners delete this type of stuff when it occurs and stop giving the authors the oxygen of publicity. Likewise don’t publicize irresponsible sites that won’t delete this stuff.

  195. Whilst these threats are frightening to the recipient in all liklehood they are a bunch of junveniles doing whatever it takes to get noticed. The moral panic on this site and others probably plays into their hands and will only exacerbate the situation.

    It’s probably better that responsible site owners delete this type of stuff when it occurs and stop giving the authors the oxygen of publicity. Likewise don’t publicize irresponsible sites that won’t delete this stuff.

  196. Whilst these threats are frightening to the recipient in all liklehood they are a bunch of junveniles doing whatever it takes to get noticed. The moral panic on this site and others probably plays into their hands and will only exacerbate the situation.

    It’s probably better that responsible site owners delete this type of stuff when it occurs and stop giving the authors the oxygen of publicity. Likewise don’t publicize irresponsible sites that won’t delete this stuff.

  197. Kathy Sierra: Quand la connerie humaine ratrappe les blogueurs

    En suivant mon Twitter ce matin pour voir ce que j’avais raté durant la nuit, j’ai été interpelé par un post de Robert Scoble annonçant qu’il arrêtait de bloguer pour une semaine en protestation à des commentaires sexistes dans Digg. En creus…

  198. Robert,
    You said “We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.”

    You can’t fix the crack pots out there. You can’t fix their miss-firing brains that can’t logically and rationally live in any world (virtual or physical).

    No matter where you are in today’s world, you must consider your physical surroundings and ensure your safety at all time.

    As the world comes closer in thought we come closer in other aspects of our lives and we have to be cognizant of what the 1% crazy’s are doing.

  199. Robert,
    You said “We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.”

    You can’t fix the crack pots out there. You can’t fix their miss-firing brains that can’t logically and rationally live in any world (virtual or physical).

    No matter where you are in today’s world, you must consider your physical surroundings and ensure your safety at all time.

    As the world comes closer in thought we come closer in other aspects of our lives and we have to be cognizant of what the 1% crazy’s are doing.

  200. By not blogging, don’t the threateners win? Isn’t that the whole point of people like this, they make folks afraid to live their normal lives?

    Look at Welch’s post above and fight back. The same tech that gives people the ability to act outraegously online also gives the power to fight back. An A-list blogger like you should be able to get a bunch of geeks into the fight to figure out not only who posted these threats, but to figure out how to stop them.

    Personally I am not sure we will ever make the web a civil place, one where our own personal sense of “correctness” prevails, but we can try to make sure that over the top acts like this cease.

  201. By not blogging, don’t the threateners win? Isn’t that the whole point of people like this, they make folks afraid to live their normal lives?

    Look at Welch’s post above and fight back. The same tech that gives people the ability to act outraegously online also gives the power to fight back. An A-list blogger like you should be able to get a bunch of geeks into the fight to figure out not only who posted these threats, but to figure out how to stop them.

    Personally I am not sure we will ever make the web a civil place, one where our own personal sense of “correctness” prevails, but we can try to make sure that over the top acts like this cease.

  202. Anonymity is a coward’s way to bravery, I disagree with you Robert and agree with John C. Welch, if you allow a coward to vent his/hers crap without a name or ownership to that, then you are allowing them to continue.
    Only a coward will attack people that they feel are weal of defenseless. This makes them feel strong. Women have been victims of verbal attacks for a long time now and with the internet and it’s communication capabilities, you will see the best that man has to offer over shadowed by the worst that man is. As John says – shine a light on anyone that is willing to make threats and spew crap, and just like cock roaches in the dark, they will run for cover. The only way to stop this is to expose the authors. Once exposed they will become their own worst enemy.
    I have an absolute hatred of anybody that abuses women (sorry, I know that is sexist, but that was how I was raised), this particular attack is unique in that You, Robert, have helped along with Katy to expose this this, and it is the exposure that will make a difference. All of the other ideas are just typing exercise.
    If you want to have meankids apologize, use your following to apply the pressure to these miscreants, and you will see results.

    If you are one of the cowards that has participated in this cowardice, my blog is http://glpelletier.wordpress.com

    Guy

  203. Anonymity is a coward’s way to bravery, I disagree with you Robert and agree with John C. Welch, if you allow a coward to vent his/hers crap without a name or ownership to that, then you are allowing them to continue.
    Only a coward will attack people that they feel are weal of defenseless. This makes them feel strong. Women have been victims of verbal attacks for a long time now and with the internet and it’s communication capabilities, you will see the best that man has to offer over shadowed by the worst that man is. As John says – shine a light on anyone that is willing to make threats and spew crap, and just like cock roaches in the dark, they will run for cover. The only way to stop this is to expose the authors. Once exposed they will become their own worst enemy.
    I have an absolute hatred of anybody that abuses women (sorry, I know that is sexist, but that was how I was raised), this particular attack is unique in that You, Robert, have helped along with Katy to expose this this, and it is the exposure that will make a difference. All of the other ideas are just typing exercise.
    If you want to have meankids apologize, use your following to apply the pressure to these miscreants, and you will see results.

    If you are one of the cowards that has participated in this cowardice, my blog is http://glpelletier.wordpress.com

    Guy

  204. Dammit
    Only a coward will attack people that they feel are weal of defenseless. is supposed be: Only a coward will attack people that they feel are weak or defenseless.

    The spell checker is nice.

    Guy

  205. Dammit
    Only a coward will attack people that they feel are weal of defenseless. is supposed be: Only a coward will attack people that they feel are weak or defenseless.

    The spell checker is nice.

    Guy

  206. [...] have reacted strongly to Kathy Sierra’s post about being ‘threatened’. Robert Scoble no longer ‘feels safe’ and is ‘physically ill’. Chris Locke has responded [...]

  207. Robert,

    I get where you’re coming from and I also can see where sooo many others can just shake it off and keep plugging – shake it off and get back to it was how many of us were raised; but it doesn’t excuse the perpetrators – I read the postings and the transgressors blogs; as of a few minutes ago Herrel shut down his blog, ‘RageBoy’ posted a belligerent response suggesting the public is incapable of evaluating his comments for what they are and Paynter apologizes left-handedly, while explaining away his actions as ‘art’. Who do these guys think we are that we cannot see them for what they are?! Infantile, insecure morons caught with a smoking gun in their hands…

    Your comments in your presentation here in Phoenix that transparency and honesty were essentail elements in the commuity; that comment has stuck with me – it was the way I acted / lived before and will continue to, even as a blogging particpant.

    Take what ever actions, whatever time you need to get square with the events and I, for one, will welcome the conversation about how the social media community responds to this episode.

  208. Robert,

    I get where you’re coming from and I also can see where sooo many others can just shake it off and keep plugging – shake it off and get back to it was how many of us were raised; but it doesn’t excuse the perpetrators – I read the postings and the transgressors blogs; as of a few minutes ago Herrel shut down his blog, ‘RageBoy’ posted a belligerent response suggesting the public is incapable of evaluating his comments for what they are and Paynter apologizes left-handedly, while explaining away his actions as ‘art’. Who do these guys think we are that we cannot see them for what they are?! Infantile, insecure morons caught with a smoking gun in their hands…

    Your comments in your presentation here in Phoenix that transparency and honesty were essentail elements in the commuity; that comment has stuck with me – it was the way I acted / lived before and will continue to, even as a blogging particpant.

    Take what ever actions, whatever time you need to get square with the events and I, for one, will welcome the conversation about how the social media community responds to this episode.

  209. The problem is anonymous comments like a previous commenter said.

    From your post:
    “We’re putting ourselves out there in ways very few people do. We should be safe from death threats and other sexual attacks and stuff, especially from other bloggers.”

    Really? Just you or everyone? This is NOTHING NEW. Anonymous jerks showed up day ONE of the internet. They’ve never followed through.

    Again, its anonymous posts that are the problem.

  210. The problem is anonymous comments like a previous commenter said.

    From your post:
    “We’re putting ourselves out there in ways very few people do. We should be safe from death threats and other sexual attacks and stuff, especially from other bloggers.”

    Really? Just you or everyone? This is NOTHING NEW. Anonymous jerks showed up day ONE of the internet. They’ve never followed through.

    Again, its anonymous posts that are the problem.

  211. @Paul Walsh

    “Jeff Hume – “socially moderated conversation”. Some types of conversation are not for social moderation (full stop). This is why it’s illegal to talk about killing jews in Germany for example. There are times when you don’t leave stuff to public debate. Why don’t you just stop debating about the semantics of Robert’s post and just allow the main message to remain clear in everyone’s minds.

    All you’re doing is detracting from the message that Robert is voicing. So, what I’m saying is, SHUT UP.”

    I never said that these things were ok and should be moderated socially. I was simply explaining why it might be more difficult for Digg to control these things than simply shutting down the comments (as had been suggested) and why a boycott is short-sighted. My apologies for looking at the details. I’ve repeatedly said that this whole situation is horrible and I totally agree with Scoble on his assessment besides the comments about Digg. If people respond to me, I’m going to respond back. It is not my intention to derail things.

    My point was basically:

    a) Digg is not the real fundamental problem.
    b) boycotting them doesn’t solve anything.
    c) it would be better to engage in a discussion as to how we can fix these things rather than just freak out about it by calling for things like boycotts that don’t work. Indeed, if you boycott a site that has all this stuff going on, the stuff will go on, but the reasonable people just wont be there to put a stop to it, or even see it for that matter.

    Considering this thread is about people abusing others online, it doesn’t really seem right for you to get on my case at tell me to “SHUT UP”. That’s not hate speech, which is what we’re talking about, but it is pretty rude. I’m not trying to detract from the issue, but rather trying to engage in discussion as to how this can be fixed – with realistic solutions.

  212. @Paul Walsh

    “Jeff Hume – “socially moderated conversation”. Some types of conversation are not for social moderation (full stop). This is why it’s illegal to talk about killing jews in Germany for example. There are times when you don’t leave stuff to public debate. Why don’t you just stop debating about the semantics of Robert’s post and just allow the main message to remain clear in everyone’s minds.

    All you’re doing is detracting from the message that Robert is voicing. So, what I’m saying is, SHUT UP.”

    I never said that these things were ok and should be moderated socially. I was simply explaining why it might be more difficult for Digg to control these things than simply shutting down the comments (as had been suggested) and why a boycott is short-sighted. My apologies for looking at the details. I’ve repeatedly said that this whole situation is horrible and I totally agree with Scoble on his assessment besides the comments about Digg. If people respond to me, I’m going to respond back. It is not my intention to derail things.

    My point was basically:

    a) Digg is not the real fundamental problem.
    b) boycotting them doesn’t solve anything.
    c) it would be better to engage in a discussion as to how we can fix these things rather than just freak out about it by calling for things like boycotts that don’t work. Indeed, if you boycott a site that has all this stuff going on, the stuff will go on, but the reasonable people just wont be there to put a stop to it, or even see it for that matter.

    Considering this thread is about people abusing others online, it doesn’t really seem right for you to get on my case at tell me to “SHUT UP”. That’s not hate speech, which is what we’re talking about, but it is pretty rude. I’m not trying to detract from the issue, but rather trying to engage in discussion as to how this can be fixed – with realistic solutions.

  213. I’m a woman and a former blogger. I have lots to say, but I stopped and started enough times, mostly because of this kind of abuse. Kathy Sierra has been my hero for quite some time! She inspired me to start blogging; so did you. But, eventually I quit.

    The truth is that unfettered communication on the web amplifies this truth:
    “Let no good deed go unpunished.”
    If you blog, you invest part of yourself, the creative, vulnerable part of yourself, in your blog. It’s brave and admirable. but there are people who would like to hurt you, out of their own inadequacy.

    I applaud your decision to step back, to take a breather, to take time to nourish yourself and your family. It’s okay to take a break. I hope you don’t go silent.

    There are brilliant, kind and wonderful people on the web (you, Kathy, others). I hope they flourish and have a safer world, on and off the web.

  214. I’m a woman and a former blogger. I have lots to say, but I stopped and started enough times, mostly because of this kind of abuse. Kathy Sierra has been my hero for quite some time! She inspired me to start blogging; so did you. But, eventually I quit.

    The truth is that unfettered communication on the web amplifies this truth:
    “Let no good deed go unpunished.”
    If you blog, you invest part of yourself, the creative, vulnerable part of yourself, in your blog. It’s brave and admirable. but there are people who would like to hurt you, out of their own inadequacy.

    I applaud your decision to step back, to take a breather, to take time to nourish yourself and your family. It’s okay to take a break. I hope you don’t go silent.

    There are brilliant, kind and wonderful people on the web (you, Kathy, others). I hope they flourish and have a safer world, on and off the web.

  215. I’m now working with PBS Teachers (www.pbs.org/teachers) to raise awareness about what happened to Kathy, Maryam and you, and to encourage educators around the US to spend time this Friday talking about cyber bullying. We’re also encouraging everyone else with a blog to participate by writing or posting video about cyberbullying, whether it’s something they’ve experienced, resources they want to share, an open letter to their member of Congress, etc. Anyone who participates is encouraged to tag it “stopcyberbullying” so we can aggregate it and discuss it at http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com. More info at PBS.org here.

  216. I’m now working with PBS Teachers (www.pbs.org/teachers) to raise awareness about what happened to Kathy, Maryam and you, and to encourage educators around the US to spend time this Friday talking about cyber bullying. We’re also encouraging everyone else with a blog to participate by writing or posting video about cyberbullying, whether it’s something they’ve experienced, resources they want to share, an open letter to their member of Congress, etc. Anyone who participates is encouraged to tag it “stopcyberbullying” so we can aggregate it and discuss it at http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com. More info at PBS.org here.

  217. Like any decent person, I am appalled by these death threats, and indeed by the “milder” forms of abuse that are commonplace in the blogosphere.

    That is one reason I choose to remain anonymous myself.

    However, I am not sure that the hostility is particularly directed against women.

    To be absolutely clear, I stand for respect and decency towards all human beings, men or women.

    The hostility mentioned is not just the culture of the blogosphere, or a particular industry sector. It is a feature of our world.

    And if you want it to stop, then stand up for *everyone* who is not treated with respect, be they female or male, Republican or Democrat, atheist, Christian or Muslim.

    Singling out women as a particular group that needs to be protected is both patronising to women, and also does nothing to address the general culture in which some kinds of vitriol towards certain groups are considered ok.

    It is not ok to give vent to hatred. Period.

  218. Like any decent person, I am appalled by these death threats, and indeed by the “milder” forms of abuse that are commonplace in the blogosphere.

    That is one reason I choose to remain anonymous myself.

    However, I am not sure that the hostility is particularly directed against women.

    To be absolutely clear, I stand for respect and decency towards all human beings, men or women.

    The hostility mentioned is not just the culture of the blogosphere, or a particular industry sector. It is a feature of our world.

    And if you want it to stop, then stand up for *everyone* who is not treated with respect, be they female or male, Republican or Democrat, atheist, Christian or Muslim.

    Singling out women as a particular group that needs to be protected is both patronising to women, and also does nothing to address the general culture in which some kinds of vitriol towards certain groups are considered ok.

    It is not ok to give vent to hatred. Period.

  219. Tech Bloggers Step Up to a Community Challenge

    I’m amazed at the reactions to Kathy Sierra’s exposure of the a-holes who have been harassing and threatening her online. If she were a hip hop blogger, she’d be ignored or ridiculed with folks discussing it privately. But she’s not a hip hop blogg…

  220. Robert

    While I applaud your intentions and concur with your feelings about this horrible matter, I believe that ‘blog silence’ benefits no-one.

    Solidarity with Kathy Sierra is one thing, letting the nasty pieces of work win by going silent is quite another.

    This is an extreme form of bullying and bullies are cowards. Letting them have free rein during ‘radio silence’ is a mistake.

    There is, naturally, a fine line between moderating and censorship but if everyone tackled every bit of ‘ism’ without shying away, then containing it is easier.

    It is good to know that Kathy has involved the police and I hope they have the powers to prosecute ‘inciting violence’ against her to the fullest extent of the law.

  221. Robert

    While I applaud your intentions and concur with your feelings about this horrible matter, I believe that ‘blog silence’ benefits no-one.

    Solidarity with Kathy Sierra is one thing, letting the nasty pieces of work win by going silent is quite another.

    This is an extreme form of bullying and bullies are cowards. Letting them have free rein during ‘radio silence’ is a mistake.

    There is, naturally, a fine line between moderating and censorship but if everyone tackled every bit of ‘ism’ without shying away, then containing it is easier.

    It is good to know that Kathy has involved the police and I hope they have the powers to prosecute ‘inciting violence’ against her to the fullest extent of the law.

  222. Robert, I’m with you. In this country we have to stop this abusive attacking of women. For the love of God, we all came from mothers who sacrificed greatly for our life. Even the worst of moms went through child-birth and were able to keep us alive into adulthood. So we need to stop with all this voilence against women. There is no place in society for this abuse. And there is no place in the blogosphere for this type of terror.

  223. Robert, I’m with you. In this country we have to stop this abusive attacking of women. For the love of God, we all came from mothers who sacrificed greatly for our life. Even the worst of moms went through child-birth and were able to keep us alive into adulthood. So we need to stop with all this voilence against women. There is no place in society for this abuse. And there is no place in the blogosphere for this type of terror.

  224. Jill, I disagree with you @184
    Robert is voicing his opinion o this very load by not posting for a week, this will keep this article on top for the hundreds of thousands of readers to see and he is commenting in this discussion.

    Guy

  225. Jill, I disagree with you @184
    Robert is voicing his opinion o this very load by not posting for a week, this will keep this article on top for the hundreds of thousands of readers to see and he is commenting in this discussion.

    Guy

  226. Know what’s really sad? The IT industry is much better than many others with regard to women. You should hear what women I know in other fields have to say about things.

  227. Know what’s really sad? The IT industry is much better than many others with regard to women. You should hear what women I know in other fields have to say about things.

  228. Scobie:

    First I thought blogging every day for K. would make more sense but your comment, “this post will be at the top of my blog for an entire week,” made me think differently. I think everyone should do this, a post on this, then silence for a week. I suggest a tag: silenceforkathy.

  229. Scobie:

    First I thought blogging every day for K. would make more sense but your comment, “this post will be at the top of my blog for an entire week,” made me think differently. I think everyone should do this, a post on this, then silence for a week. I suggest a tag: silenceforkathy.

  230. Robert Scoble: Taking the week off

    Robert Scoble, a prominent blogger, is taking a hiatus as part of his response to the death threats against fellow blogger Kathy Sierra. He reports that this incident has made him physically ill.

  231. This is an extreme form of bullying and bullies are cowards. Letting them have free rein during ‘radio silence’ is a mistake.

    I have to agree with Jill. Silence amongst those who desire civil behaviour online will only benefit those who wish to create discord. I understand your desire to show support for Kathy by leaving this story at the top of your blog for a week. Perhaps an alternative would be to write about nothing else for a week; not just about what has happened to Kathy, but write about how we can create a culture of civility online.

  232. This is an extreme form of bullying and bullies are cowards. Letting them have free rein during ‘radio silence’ is a mistake.

    I have to agree with Jill. Silence amongst those who desire civil behaviour online will only benefit those who wish to create discord. I understand your desire to show support for Kathy by leaving this story at the top of your blog for a week. Perhaps an alternative would be to write about nothing else for a week; not just about what has happened to Kathy, but write about how we can create a culture of civility online.

  233. Rob @191
    Notice how you are the 191 comment on this conversation? This is how the message will get out, by people taking back and forth, an exchange of ideas and impressions.
    Robert is using his considerable readership to discuss, converse about this and it is working. just look at all of the ping backs.
    I would agree that somebody without a large following should post several times as this would generate allot of search retrievals, how ever, if all of the A-listers do as Scoble is doing the impact would be significant.

    Guy

  234. Rob @191
    Notice how you are the 191 comment on this conversation? This is how the message will get out, by people taking back and forth, an exchange of ideas and impressions.
    Robert is using his considerable readership to discuss, converse about this and it is working. just look at all of the ping backs.
    I would agree that somebody without a large following should post several times as this would generate allot of search retrievals, how ever, if all of the A-listers do as Scoble is doing the impact would be significant.

    Guy

  235. OK, I did it again
    by people taking back and forth should be people talking back and forth.

    Somebody needs to devise a way to edit your own comments on somebody else’s blog.

    Guy

  236. Again, this is ridiculous – supposed adults cringing because of what a bunch of morons said on some Web forum.

    Sure, call the police, that’s certainly reasonable to do when someone threatens your life. But you don’t -cancel speaking engagements and cringe in your house- and demonstrate to your children that cowardice in the face of bullying is the ‘adult’ reaction.

    The adult reaction is to get in their faces, defy them, carry on with your life and what you want to do, period. Anything else gives them the power, and they win.

    I hate to say it, but it seems that most of the people commenting here have led sheltered lives, too, if they think this is such an -awful- thing. I’ve seen awful, and this isn’t it – it’s annoying, stupid, disgusting, and wrong, but it isn’t -awful-. And mature, grown-up men and women don’t act like a bunch of crybabies.

    I guess this episode does in fact say something about the ‘blogosphere’ – that it’s populated by people who are so weak and disconnected from reality that they have no sense of proportion, and who jump like scared rabbits whenever someone says, “Boo!”.

    What a sorry state of affairs. I’m sure Miss Sierra is a nice woman, but the hysteria and hyperbole aren’t warranted, and again, she’s setting a terrible example for her children.

    Show some strength! Defy the morons!

    That’s the way to win.

  237. OK, I did it again
    by people taking back and forth should be people talking back and forth.

    Somebody needs to devise a way to edit your own comments on somebody else’s blog.

    Guy

  238. Again, this is ridiculous – supposed adults cringing because of what a bunch of morons said on some Web forum.

    Sure, call the police, that’s certainly reasonable to do when someone threatens your life. But you don’t -cancel speaking engagements and cringe in your house- and demonstrate to your children that cowardice in the face of bullying is the ‘adult’ reaction.

    The adult reaction is to get in their faces, defy them, carry on with your life and what you want to do, period. Anything else gives them the power, and they win.

    I hate to say it, but it seems that most of the people commenting here have led sheltered lives, too, if they think this is such an -awful- thing. I’ve seen awful, and this isn’t it – it’s annoying, stupid, disgusting, and wrong, but it isn’t -awful-. And mature, grown-up men and women don’t act like a bunch of crybabies.

    I guess this episode does in fact say something about the ‘blogosphere’ – that it’s populated by people who are so weak and disconnected from reality that they have no sense of proportion, and who jump like scared rabbits whenever someone says, “Boo!”.

    What a sorry state of affairs. I’m sure Miss Sierra is a nice woman, but the hysteria and hyperbole aren’t warranted, and again, she’s setting a terrible example for her children.

    Show some strength! Defy the morons!

    That’s the way to win.

  239. I disagree with you Robert and agree with John C. Welch, if you allow a coward to vent his/hers crap without a name or ownership to that, then you are allowing them to continue.

    Thanks, but I’m not anti-anonymity. I’m anti-cracklickingdouchebag. The presence of a name is not a magic spell. It means they typed some letters. As well, anonymity is not the problem. It’s a tool. It’s the douchbags that are a problem. Deal with the real problem, not some meaningless distraction.

    Really? Just you or everyone? This is NOTHING NEW. Anonymous jerks showed up day ONE of the internet. They’ve never followed through.

    It predates the internet. You think this is new? Hardly. The Internet just increases the efficiency. Really, this is neither new, nor particularly special.

    If you blog, you invest part of yourself, the creative, vulnerable part of yourself, in your blog. It’s brave and admirable. but there are people who would like to hurt you, out of their own inadequacy.

    See, no one can (nonphysically) hurt you unless you let them. Someone calling you names, photoshopping you so that you appear to be giving a horse a blowjob? How the hell can that hurt you. Hell, it’s almost flattering. Anyone spends that much time on me, they must really care about me. I mean, they’re nimrods, but caring nimrods. Threats? Call the cops and the FBI. But come on. People calling me a name is not going to hurt me. Especially some anonymous jackass. This post on Violent Acres:

    http://www.violentacres.com/archives/142/human-nature-makes-people-assholes-not-the-internet

    has the best comment ever on people saying mean things:

    Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it.

    If you let someone else warp your worldview because they said something “mean”, that’s YOUR insecurity and lack of self-esteem doing that, not them. They cannot make you feel any way other than what you let them.

    Robert, I’m with you. In this country we have to stop this abusive attacking of women.

    In this country, we have to stop abusive attacking of people. Not bullshit like calling someone names, but threats and actual attacks. We also have to stop automatically making women a victim class, because, lemme tell you, it really pisses off the women who aren’t victims. They get twitchy when you paint them as helpless.

  240. I disagree with you Robert and agree with John C. Welch, if you allow a coward to vent his/hers crap without a name or ownership to that, then you are allowing them to continue.

    Thanks, but I’m not anti-anonymity. I’m anti-cracklickingdouchebag. The presence of a name is not a magic spell. It means they typed some letters. As well, anonymity is not the problem. It’s a tool. It’s the douchbags that are a problem. Deal with the real problem, not some meaningless distraction.

    Really? Just you or everyone? This is NOTHING NEW. Anonymous jerks showed up day ONE of the internet. They’ve never followed through.

    It predates the internet. You think this is new? Hardly. The Internet just increases the efficiency. Really, this is neither new, nor particularly special.

    If you blog, you invest part of yourself, the creative, vulnerable part of yourself, in your blog. It’s brave and admirable. but there are people who would like to hurt you, out of their own inadequacy.

    See, no one can (nonphysically) hurt you unless you let them. Someone calling you names, photoshopping you so that you appear to be giving a horse a blowjob? How the hell can that hurt you. Hell, it’s almost flattering. Anyone spends that much time on me, they must really care about me. I mean, they’re nimrods, but caring nimrods. Threats? Call the cops and the FBI. But come on. People calling me a name is not going to hurt me. Especially some anonymous jackass. This post on Violent Acres:

    http://www.violentacres.com/archives/142/human-nature-makes-people-assholes-not-the-internet

    has the best comment ever on people saying mean things:

    Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it.

    If you let someone else warp your worldview because they said something “mean”, that’s YOUR insecurity and lack of self-esteem doing that, not them. They cannot make you feel any way other than what you let them.

    Robert, I’m with you. In this country we have to stop this abusive attacking of women.

    In this country, we have to stop abusive attacking of people. Not bullshit like calling someone names, but threats and actual attacks. We also have to stop automatically making women a victim class, because, lemme tell you, it really pisses off the women who aren’t victims. They get twitchy when you paint them as helpless.

  241. A completely disgusting and very sad situation. My heart goes out to Kathy – what a bizarre situation.

    Kudos to you Robert for being supportive of her and of decency. The more men that speak out against misogyny the better. Thank you.

    One quick comment to Roland – yes, we must defy the morons and show strength in what we can do to battle their idiotic ideas. But that someone would be freaked out by this stuff seems entirely reasonable all things considered. We’re talking personal safety, after all. Defiance can come after shock, and it will, by rights. But be sympathetic to Ms. Serra. Also I don’t see how standing up to and calling out injustice is setting a bad example for her children. Let’s look at constructive ways to address the issues, and keep the name calling and personal characterizations to a minimum.

  242. A completely disgusting and very sad situation. My heart goes out to Kathy – what a bizarre situation.

    Kudos to you Robert for being supportive of her and of decency. The more men that speak out against misogyny the better. Thank you.

    One quick comment to Roland – yes, we must defy the morons and show strength in what we can do to battle their idiotic ideas. But that someone would be freaked out by this stuff seems entirely reasonable all things considered. We’re talking personal safety, after all. Defiance can come after shock, and it will, by rights. But be sympathetic to Ms. Serra. Also I don’t see how standing up to and calling out injustice is setting a bad example for her children. Let’s look at constructive ways to address the issues, and keep the name calling and personal characterizations to a minimum.

  243. Chuck(le), you wrote:
    “This sort of angry response is an indicator of someone becoming a sociopath in their own right. They may think it cute, but would they REALLY want someone to come around and show THEM ‘the light’…with a power drill?

    I have serious doubts that they’d like it. Let alone benefit from the lesson.”

    Yes, I am dead serious about the power drill _if_necessary_. That implies _when_ necessary as well.

    Can you give me one good reason why I should wait until a man who makes threatening moves – such as telling me offline and in my face that he was going to rape me – has harmed me before I make it clear that I’m not going to hold still for an assault?

    But – fair’s fair – a man has every right to react to the same situation in the same way.

    When men comment on my breasts, I usually tell them to wait until I get a magnifier so that I can comment on their penis. That usually shuts them off. But when a man grabs my hair and tries to _touch_ me, I have no inhibitions against physical violence. That is the meaning of “if and when necessary”.

  244. Chuck(le), you wrote:
    “This sort of angry response is an indicator of someone becoming a sociopath in their own right. They may think it cute, but would they REALLY want someone to come around and show THEM ‘the light’…with a power drill?

    I have serious doubts that they’d like it. Let alone benefit from the lesson.”

    Yes, I am dead serious about the power drill _if_necessary_. That implies _when_ necessary as well.

    Can you give me one good reason why I should wait until a man who makes threatening moves – such as telling me offline and in my face that he was going to rape me – has harmed me before I make it clear that I’m not going to hold still for an assault?

    But – fair’s fair – a man has every right to react to the same situation in the same way.

    When men comment on my breasts, I usually tell them to wait until I get a magnifier so that I can comment on their penis. That usually shuts them off. But when a man grabs my hair and tries to _touch_ me, I have no inhibitions against physical violence. That is the meaning of “if and when necessary”.

  245. It’s not the ‘calling out injustice’ part (though this hardly meets the criteria for ‘injustice’, it’s more of a nuisance) that’s a bad example, it’s the “I’m-so-scared-I’m-canceling-my-speaking-engagements-and-cringing-in-the-house” bit which is such a bad example.

    Look, I’m sure Miss Sierra is a very nice lady and of course she doesn’t deserve this kind of idiocy (no one does), but she’s merely encouraging them by her hysteria and demonstrating the wrong lesson by hiding under the bed (literally, by the sound of it).

    Even though it was a pretty awful, needlessly ahistorical movie with terrible acting and wooden dialogue, I think a good dose of ‘Lord of the 300′ is indicated, in this case.

  246. It’s not the ‘calling out injustice’ part (though this hardly meets the criteria for ‘injustice’, it’s more of a nuisance) that’s a bad example, it’s the “I’m-so-scared-I’m-canceling-my-speaking-engagements-and-cringing-in-the-house” bit which is such a bad example.

    Look, I’m sure Miss Sierra is a very nice lady and of course she doesn’t deserve this kind of idiocy (no one does), but she’s merely encouraging them by her hysteria and demonstrating the wrong lesson by hiding under the bed (literally, by the sound of it).

    Even though it was a pretty awful, needlessly ahistorical movie with terrible acting and wooden dialogue, I think a good dose of ‘Lord of the 300′ is indicated, in this case.

  247. Extending My Support to Kathy Sierra, Maryam Scobl

    It is absolutely sickening that anyone would have to live life afraid of leaving their own home or have their brilliance silenced because their health is severely affected by fear.

  248. In particular, I’m amazed by Chris Locke’s unrepentance. He’s out-of-touch (“you own your own words” is a nice anachronism, but providing a forum and encouragement for people who can then avoid owning theirs shows how ignorant the parroted phrase is) and spite-filled (he dislikes/hates her “more than ever” now).

    I mean, wow.

    I can understand the 16-year-olds at Digg writing their spew, but for God’s sake, he’s a grown man. I’d say I’m surprised, but I’ve read Usenet long enough to see thousands of his ilk, with no concept of actual community beyond “I say what I like, and you have to allow it.”

    I hope he gets a clue, but it’s probably too late.

  249. @jeff

    Everyone uses an ISP. Whether they use that account for their email or not doesn’t matter, it could be used to signup for services that don’t accept hotmail, yahoo, etc. I once participated in an online community of more than 10,000 people which enforced this policy, so I know it can be done at some scale.

    I didn’t leave a web address because I don’t blog. I’d been thinking of starting, though this whole incident gives me pause. And, of course, I do enter a real email address which Robert could use to trace me if I was abusive etc. That, incidentally, is the point – the community doesn’t need to see everyone else’s email address, but the sysadmins do need someone to tie a name to a person. If we don’t have this, we have a system that enables abusive, even criminal, acts. Go look at the Google cache for meankids.org. You’ll see a disgusting post about Scoble’s wife. The coward who posted that did so anonymously… That is not OK, that is over the line and no amount of justification for anonymity makes it OK.

    Oh, and my email address is actually pretty easy to find, but here it is anyway: rick at rickgregory dot org.

  250. In particular, I’m amazed by Chris Locke’s unrepentance. He’s out-of-touch (“you own your own words” is a nice anachronism, but providing a forum and encouragement for people who can then avoid owning theirs shows how ignorant the parroted phrase is) and spite-filled (he dislikes/hates her “more than ever” now).

    I mean, wow.

    I can understand the 16-year-olds at Digg writing their spew, but for God’s sake, he’s a grown man. I’d say I’m surprised, but I’ve read Usenet long enough to see thousands of his ilk, with no concept of actual community beyond “I say what I like, and you have to allow it.”

    I hope he gets a clue, but it’s probably too late.

  251. @jeff

    Everyone uses an ISP. Whether they use that account for their email or not doesn’t matter, it could be used to signup for services that don’t accept hotmail, yahoo, etc. I once participated in an online community of more than 10,000 people which enforced this policy, so I know it can be done at some scale.

    I didn’t leave a web address because I don’t blog. I’d been thinking of starting, though this whole incident gives me pause. And, of course, I do enter a real email address which Robert could use to trace me if I was abusive etc. That, incidentally, is the point – the community doesn’t need to see everyone else’s email address, but the sysadmins do need someone to tie a name to a person. If we don’t have this, we have a system that enables abusive, even criminal, acts. Go look at the Google cache for meankids.org. You’ll see a disgusting post about Scoble’s wife. The coward who posted that did so anonymously… That is not OK, that is over the line and no amount of justification for anonymity makes it OK.

    Oh, and my email address is actually pretty easy to find, but here it is anyway: rick at rickgregory dot org.

  252. Unfortunately highlighting this crime might make more copycats and please the perp. :o(

    I’m waiting for this person to be caught and strung up. Now that would be good news.

  253. Unfortunately highlighting this crime might make more copycats and please the perp. :o(

    I’m waiting for this person to be caught and strung up. Now that would be good news.

  254. Robert,

    How about making an example of the people behind meankids and unclebobism to show that this behaviour – I’ve read the posts about Maryam and others now too in Google’s cache – is not tolerated, and blackball them.

    No conference invites, no comments on their blogs, comments from them deleted onsight, no links, no dinners, no meetups, nothing. Excise them (Locke, Paynter et al.) from the commumity.

  255. Robert,

    How about making an example of the people behind meankids and unclebobism to show that this behaviour – I’ve read the posts about Maryam and others now too in Google’s cache – is not tolerated, and blackball them.

    No conference invites, no comments on their blogs, comments from them deleted onsight, no links, no dinners, no meetups, nothing. Excise them (Locke, Paynter et al.) from the commumity.

  256. [...] than it already has been, I will not post her name, but you can get the facts of this crime either here at Robert Scoble’s blog, where he lists the basics of the story and links to further info. Please read the post I am [...]

  257. TO: Jill
    RE: Bullies?

    “This is an extreme form of bullying and bullies are cowards.” — Jill

    These aren’t ‘bullies’. Bullies are what you encounter in an elementary school yard.

    These are sociopaths. If not psychopaths.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  258. TO: Jill
    RE: Bullies?

    “This is an extreme form of bullying and bullies are cowards.” — Jill

    These aren’t ‘bullies’. Bullies are what you encounter in an elementary school yard.

    These are sociopaths. If not psychopaths.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  259. Can you give me one good reason why I should wait until a man who makes threatening moves – such as telling me offline and in my face that he was going to rape me – has harmed me before I make it clear that I’m not going to hold still for an assault?

    That’s not what you said Anna. You said:

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*.

    I don’t know what specifically you meant by that, but to most of the world, “smack” is physically hitting someone. That’s not the same as physical self-defense. That’s saying “Any time you say something I don’t like, I’m going to smack you upside the head, and you’ll just take it, because I’m a woman, and men can’t hit girls”.

    Perpetuating the stereotypes much?

    Everyone uses an ISP. Whether they use that account for their email or not doesn’t matter, it could be used to signup for services that don’t accept hotmail, yahoo, etc. I once participated in an online community of more than 10,000 people which enforced this policy, so I know it can be done at some scale.

    Ah, so now you want to penalize people using email you don’t like? What magic spell makes POP any more of an anti-anonymity spell than Hotmail. Okay, they don’t use hotmail. Do you have any idea how many ways you can use non-hotmail/yahoo/gmail and still be anonymous? That’s just eliteism.

    Ironically, this would keep Robert from using his work email, it’s based on Gmail.

    Webmail – only use is *increasing* and contrary to your assumptions, it’s a legitimate tool.

    I didn’t leave a web address because I don’t blog. I’d been thinking of starting, though this whole incident gives me pause. And, of course, I do enter a real email address which Robert could use to trace me if I was abusive etc.

    And of course, a comment form on a weblog is a foolproof way to validate an email address? Oh wait, no it isn’t.

    That, incidentally, is the point – the community doesn’t need to see everyone else’s email address, but the sysadmins do need someone to tie a name to a person. If we don’t have this, we have a system that enables abusive, even criminal, acts. Go look at the Google cache for meankids.org. You’ll see a disgusting post about Scoble’s wife. The coward who posted that did so anonymously… That is not OK, that is over the line and no amount of justification for anonymity makes it OK.

    So it would be okay if it wasn’t anonymous? See, the anonymity argument is a strawman. You can’t prove that your email address is really you, or that you’re even who you SAY you are. At least not just because you used a name and an email address.

    Oh, and my email address is actually pretty easy to find, but here it is anyway: rick at rickgregory dot org.

    How do we know Rick Gregory is real? How do we know YOU are HIM?

    So far, we only have your word for it. “Trust Me” is not Latin for “proof”.

  260. Can you give me one good reason why I should wait until a man who makes threatening moves – such as telling me offline and in my face that he was going to rape me – has harmed me before I make it clear that I’m not going to hold still for an assault?

    That’s not what you said Anna. You said:

    And we women need to work, too. We need to stop reacting to comments about our sex or our body, unless we do it with a *smack*.

    I don’t know what specifically you meant by that, but to most of the world, “smack” is physically hitting someone. That’s not the same as physical self-defense. That’s saying “Any time you say something I don’t like, I’m going to smack you upside the head, and you’ll just take it, because I’m a woman, and men can’t hit girls”.

    Perpetuating the stereotypes much?

    Everyone uses an ISP. Whether they use that account for their email or not doesn’t matter, it could be used to signup for services that don’t accept hotmail, yahoo, etc. I once participated in an online community of more than 10,000 people which enforced this policy, so I know it can be done at some scale.

    Ah, so now you want to penalize people using email you don’t like? What magic spell makes POP any more of an anti-anonymity spell than Hotmail. Okay, they don’t use hotmail. Do you have any idea how many ways you can use non-hotmail/yahoo/gmail and still be anonymous? That’s just eliteism.

    Ironically, this would keep Robert from using his work email, it’s based on Gmail.

    Webmail – only use is *increasing* and contrary to your assumptions, it’s a legitimate tool.

    I didn’t leave a web address because I don’t blog. I’d been thinking of starting, though this whole incident gives me pause. And, of course, I do enter a real email address which Robert could use to trace me if I was abusive etc.

    And of course, a comment form on a weblog is a foolproof way to validate an email address? Oh wait, no it isn’t.

    That, incidentally, is the point – the community doesn’t need to see everyone else’s email address, but the sysadmins do need someone to tie a name to a person. If we don’t have this, we have a system that enables abusive, even criminal, acts. Go look at the Google cache for meankids.org. You’ll see a disgusting post about Scoble’s wife. The coward who posted that did so anonymously… That is not OK, that is over the line and no amount of justification for anonymity makes it OK.

    So it would be okay if it wasn’t anonymous? See, the anonymity argument is a strawman. You can’t prove that your email address is really you, or that you’re even who you SAY you are. At least not just because you used a name and an email address.

    Oh, and my email address is actually pretty easy to find, but here it is anyway: rick at rickgregory dot org.

    How do we know Rick Gregory is real? How do we know YOU are HIM?

    So far, we only have your word for it. “Trust Me” is not Latin for “proof”.

  261. Crossing over the line

    Kathy my thoughts and those of my readers go out to you. Folks, if you are reading this, please stop by her site and show her some moral support.

  262. The first step to end the rotten culture you cite is to end anonymity in web conversations. You are not anonymous, why should anyone who responds to a blog be anonymous?

  263. The first step to end the rotten culture you cite is to end anonymity in web conversations. You are not anonymous, why should anyone who responds to a blog be anonymous?

  264. Really, somethings like this makes me want to blog more. Of course, I live in Texas, where it’s legal to defend myself and my family with lethal force if necessary. I hope it never comes to that.

    More importantly, I wish things like this wouldn’t happen. Since it does, I for one don’t plan to buckle under pressure.

    I’m not saying you guys are doing that, it’s just my take on things.

    Good luck to you all…I hope it works out well for all of you.

  265. Really, somethings like this makes me want to blog more. Of course, I live in Texas, where it’s legal to defend myself and my family with lethal force if necessary. I hope it never comes to that.

    More importantly, I wish things like this wouldn’t happen. Since it does, I for one don’t plan to buckle under pressure.

    I’m not saying you guys are doing that, it’s just my take on things.

    Good luck to you all…I hope it works out well for all of you.

  266. [...] Robert and his wife both had some nasty things said about them, he’s taking the week of blogging off. That’s something. Sometimes people need to realize that this is all not real, this whole charade that is blog commenting. People are posting anonymously and this is mostly why these sorts of things happen, they feel like they can’t be caught. I can understand it, when you watch “To Catch a Predator” some of those people look like total freaks, while others you would be amazed at the sort of people caught up in that nonsense. I’m launching a new site soon and I’m considering not allowing anonymous comments because of this. The internet is the greatest and worse tool ever. [...]

  267. This is out of control. The witch burning has commenced. Or more specifically, one bastard who did something bad has somehow convinced way too many people to tar and feather all forms of parody, satire, dark humor, harsh criticism. Even most non-threatening personal attacks and trolling of most kinds, while stupid, don’t deserve to get lumped in with this horrid event.

    It’s freedom of speech that gets hurt. I’m allowed to yell at someone. Or more commonly, I’m allowed to criticize without worrying about feelings. But witch hunts and random association of harsh criticism, and even angry words with physical threats is extremely destructive. It’s a very very big line between the two. Lots of people are offended by lots of things. I don’t freaking care if they are offended, if I didn’t attack them personally.

    Congrats on a nice excuse for a holiday.

  268. This is out of control. The witch burning has commenced. Or more specifically, one bastard who did something bad has somehow convinced way too many people to tar and feather all forms of parody, satire, dark humor, harsh criticism. Even most non-threatening personal attacks and trolling of most kinds, while stupid, don’t deserve to get lumped in with this horrid event.

    It’s freedom of speech that gets hurt. I’m allowed to yell at someone. Or more commonly, I’m allowed to criticize without worrying about feelings. But witch hunts and random association of harsh criticism, and even angry words with physical threats is extremely destructive. It’s a very very big line between the two. Lots of people are offended by lots of things. I don’t freaking care if they are offended, if I didn’t attack them personally.

    Congrats on a nice excuse for a holiday.

  269. @ Welch – “has the best comment ever on people saying mean things: ‘Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it’”

    Umm, “best comment ever” ? LOL! Seems like that’s just restating “sticks and stones …”

  270. @ Welch – “has the best comment ever on people saying mean things: ‘Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it’”

    Umm, “best comment ever” ? LOL! Seems like that’s just restating “sticks and stones …”

  271. There is a lot of passion in the comments here. The ones I like the most are the ones that say we shouldn’t shy away from blogging or leading our normal lives because if do, the bad guys win.

    Blog on…

  272. There is a lot of passion in the comments here. The ones I like the most are the ones that say we shouldn’t shy away from blogging or leading our normal lives because if do, the bad guys win.

    Blog on…

  273. “The ones I like the most are the ones that say we shouldn’t shy away from blogging or leading our normal lives because if do, the bad guys win.”

    Considering that there’s no way to stop these people, that would be the right thing to do. Ignore them and “blog on…”

  274. “The ones I like the most are the ones that say we shouldn’t shy away from blogging or leading our normal lives because if do, the bad guys win.”

    Considering that there’s no way to stop these people, that would be the right thing to do. Ignore them and “blog on…”

  275. Oh Please! I just read you state that, “It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop.”

    Women wanted EQUAL RIGHTS – then they should be treated that way. If they can’t take it in the REAL world – then they should hide, meekly, pregnant in the kitchen.

    For you to SEXISTLY state that women somehow should be treated differently is wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

  276. Oh Please! I just read you state that, “It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop.”

    Women wanted EQUAL RIGHTS – then they should be treated that way. If they can’t take it in the REAL world – then they should hide, meekly, pregnant in the kitchen.

    For you to SEXISTLY state that women somehow should be treated differently is wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

  277. I agree that what happened and what IS happening is disgusting, however I feel that to stop blogging is not the answer. If you do that, you are just conceding, accepting defeat, and probably doing just what it is that whoever posted the threats wants. The best you can do is ignore it (alerting authorities, of course) and continue doing what you do.

  278. I agree that what happened and what IS happening is disgusting, however I feel that to stop blogging is not the answer. If you do that, you are just conceding, accepting defeat, and probably doing just what it is that whoever posted the threats wants. The best you can do is ignore it (alerting authorities, of course) and continue doing what you do.

  279. Freedom of speech is only as good as you are willing to accept the consequences. You can shout at the top of your lungs that you have a bomb, doing that in the middle of a field will get you nothing, doing it at an airport will get you consequences that are hard to shake.
    Anonymity is great and should be used as a tool, however when used in conjunction with bodily threats, the gloves must come off. Even a school yard bully has to face the kid he/she is threatening. The internet just makes it easier to make threats and yell about what you want to do to somebody without suffering consequences.
    I believe that if you want to threaten somebody with physical violence, then you should be man/woman enough to give an identifier that will allow your intended victim some place to go so that he/she can confront you and the world wide audience can watch. If you start this in the blogosphere you have already committed to a public forum.

    In my opinion, just because the internet makes it easy to spew crap and threats without the concerns of consequences, does not alleviate you from giving said victim a way to fight back at you and not resort to just ranting in the web.

    For those that just threaten without exposing themselves, that is the very definition of cowardice.

    Guy

  280. Freedom of speech is only as good as you are willing to accept the consequences. You can shout at the top of your lungs that you have a bomb, doing that in the middle of a field will get you nothing, doing it at an airport will get you consequences that are hard to shake.
    Anonymity is great and should be used as a tool, however when used in conjunction with bodily threats, the gloves must come off. Even a school yard bully has to face the kid he/she is threatening. The internet just makes it easier to make threats and yell about what you want to do to somebody without suffering consequences.
    I believe that if you want to threaten somebody with physical violence, then you should be man/woman enough to give an identifier that will allow your intended victim some place to go so that he/she can confront you and the world wide audience can watch. If you start this in the blogosphere you have already committed to a public forum.

    In my opinion, just because the internet makes it easy to spew crap and threats without the concerns of consequences, does not alleviate you from giving said victim a way to fight back at you and not resort to just ranting in the web.

    For those that just threaten without exposing themselves, that is the very definition of cowardice.

    Guy

  281. Anybody remember http://bbs.fuckedcompany.com?

    Talk about misogynistic trailer trash. That site existed forever until, I’m guessing, Pud woke up and got VC money for his ventures and the VC’s said, “clean that shit up” before we give you one cent or else we’ll get sued into oblivion.

  282. Anybody remember http://bbs.fuckedcompany.com?

    Talk about misogynistic trailer trash. That site existed forever until, I’m guessing, Pud woke up and got VC money for his ventures and the VC’s said, “clean that shit up” before we give you one cent or else we’ll get sued into oblivion.

  283. Anonymous Cowards

    I have had quite a few hits on my post about the AutoAdmit boards and their anonymous commenters. Unfortunately it seems like those cowards are not the only ones, and even more unfortunately it seems like the anonymous cowards like picking on women. …

  284. The first step to end the rotten culture you cite is to end anonymity in web conversations. You are not anonymous, why should anyone who responds to a blog be anonymous?

    How do you propose to provide ID on a blog?

    @ Welch – “has the best comment ever on people saying mean things: ‘Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it’”

    Umm, “best comment ever” ? LOL! Seems like that’s just restating “sticks and stones …”

    It’s revisiting that exactly. But obviously “sticks and stones…” has been relegated to the trash heap by the insistence that self-esteem is society’s job, not the individuals, and no one listens to it anymore.

    For those that just threaten without exposing themselves, that is the very definition of cowardice.

    You know, everyone’s having a good time shitting on anonymity, but no one seems to have a clue about how to go about ending it in a way that will allow it to be used usefully.

    Again, how do you propose to bell the cat, since it’s pretty obvious that everyone would rather ban anonymity than deal with the people misusing it.

    Let the misguided slash-and-burn begin!

  285. The first step to end the rotten culture you cite is to end anonymity in web conversations. You are not anonymous, why should anyone who responds to a blog be anonymous?

    How do you propose to provide ID on a blog?

    @ Welch – “has the best comment ever on people saying mean things: ‘Besides, an opinion on the Internet can only hurt me if I let it’”

    Umm, “best comment ever” ? LOL! Seems like that’s just restating “sticks and stones …”

    It’s revisiting that exactly. But obviously “sticks and stones…” has been relegated to the trash heap by the insistence that self-esteem is society’s job, not the individuals, and no one listens to it anymore.

    For those that just threaten without exposing themselves, that is the very definition of cowardice.

    You know, everyone’s having a good time shitting on anonymity, but no one seems to have a clue about how to go about ending it in a way that will allow it to be used usefully.

    Again, how do you propose to bell the cat, since it’s pretty obvious that everyone would rather ban anonymity than deal with the people misusing it.

    Let the misguided slash-and-burn begin!

  286. You know, everyone’s having a good time shitting on anonymity, but no one seems to have a clue about how to go about ending it in a way that will allow it to be used usefully.
    Again, how do you propose to bell the cat, since it’s pretty obvious that everyone would rather ban anonymity than deal with the people misusing it.

    Yes John, you are right, I do not have the answer on how to bell the cat, and given what the internet is and how it supports anonymity I would agree with you that just being anonymous is not the issue, but hiding behind a blank wall and threatening people without giving the intended a chance to fight back is cowardice. I am not naïve enough to believe that there is answer, and that the world will go back to being rosy.

    There will always be cowards that use this to give themselves bravado; I do not have a good way to help Kathy with what has happened, she has to make those moves. I do agree with you that exposing somebody for making a threat is the fastest way to shut them down.

    Guy

  287. You know, everyone’s having a good time shitting on anonymity, but no one seems to have a clue about how to go about ending it in a way that will allow it to be used usefully.
    Again, how do you propose to bell the cat, since it’s pretty obvious that everyone would rather ban anonymity than deal with the people misusing it.

    Yes John, you are right, I do not have the answer on how to bell the cat, and given what the internet is and how it supports anonymity I would agree with you that just being anonymous is not the issue, but hiding behind a blank wall and threatening people without giving the intended a chance to fight back is cowardice. I am not naïve enough to believe that there is answer, and that the world will go back to being rosy.

    There will always be cowards that use this to give themselves bravado; I do not have a good way to help Kathy with what has happened, she has to make those moves. I do agree with you that exposing somebody for making a threat is the fastest way to shut them down.

    Guy

  288. Many, many blogs “close down” from the pressure and challenge of conflict. And I’m not talking about the pressure and challenge of being an author and “saying something relevent and exciting, etc., etc.” to keep the blog alive. I’m talking about caving in to being personally offended and afraid of (or horribly frightened about) what others out in the blog world say “right up front to your face”.

    Or is Kathy Sierra turning victimization into an art?

  289. Many, many blogs “close down” from the pressure and challenge of conflict. And I’m not talking about the pressure and challenge of being an author and “saying something relevent and exciting, etc., etc.” to keep the blog alive. I’m talking about caving in to being personally offended and afraid of (or horribly frightened about) what others out in the blog world say “right up front to your face”.

    Or is Kathy Sierra turning victimization into an art?

  290. You say, “It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop.” Attacking women is PART of our culture. How often do you read or hear about a woman killed, beaten, or raped by a man? Do you think we would notice it more if we were hearing about a black men killed or beaten by white men? Does anyone remember the recent school shootings where the attackers singled out women and girls for murder? Do you think the response would have been different if the attacker were singling out Jews? Violence towards women is such a part of our culture that it’s just background noise.

  291. You say, “It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop.” Attacking women is PART of our culture. How often do you read or hear about a woman killed, beaten, or raped by a man? Do you think we would notice it more if we were hearing about a black men killed or beaten by white men? Does anyone remember the recent school shootings where the attackers singled out women and girls for murder? Do you think the response would have been different if the attacker were singling out Jews? Violence towards women is such a part of our culture that it’s just background noise.

  292. @John,

    Sigh… Of course you can trace me. When you register a domain name, the registrar has the account info. It’s paid for with some credit card… ISP accounts are even easier. You CAN get this information even if it might take some work (perhaps even a subpoena at the extreme). You can send an email to that address and see if it bounces and if not ask whether or not I posted these comments (since, of course, someone could post under my name and using my email address).

    While it’s not perfect, you cannot do any of that with a hotmail/yahoo/etc account. I can create one of those right now, give completely fictitious info and there’s NO WAY you can associate a real person with those addresses regardless of how much legal pressure you bring.

    Again, I’ve seen this actually work in a community of 10,000 people. That’s real world experience… not just some fantasy in my head. People still veered into anger and frustration but it was far better than forums where no attempt is made to hold posters accountable by name.

    @Guy

    The problem I have with comments or posts that hide behind a handle is the asymmetry – someone attacks a real person, by name. Perhaps making threats, perhaps insinuating or stating ‘facts’ about that person…. but the poster/commenter isn’t willing to expose themselves by name also. That’s unfair – it can hurt or damage someone without any consequence to the poster. If the information is false you put the person accused in the positon of saying “Of course I didn’t (hit my wife, etc)”.

    And, outside of the classic edge cases like whistleblowers, why is anonymity or pseudonymity important? What grand goal is achieved by letting Diggers, blog posters or blog commenters post be anonymous?

  293. @John,

    Sigh… Of course you can trace me. When you register a domain name, the registrar has the account info. It’s paid for with some credit card… ISP accounts are even easier. You CAN get this information even if it might take some work (perhaps even a subpoena at the extreme). You can send an email to that address and see if it bounces and if not ask whether or not I posted these comments (since, of course, someone could post under my name and using my email address).

    While it’s not perfect, you cannot do any of that with a hotmail/yahoo/etc account. I can create one of those right now, give completely fictitious info and there’s NO WAY you can associate a real person with those addresses regardless of how much legal pressure you bring.

    Again, I’ve seen this actually work in a community of 10,000 people. That’s real world experience… not just some fantasy in my head. People still veered into anger and frustration but it was far better than forums where no attempt is made to hold posters accountable by name.

    @Guy

    The problem I have with comments or posts that hide behind a handle is the asymmetry – someone attacks a real person, by name. Perhaps making threats, perhaps insinuating or stating ‘facts’ about that person…. but the poster/commenter isn’t willing to expose themselves by name also. That’s unfair – it can hurt or damage someone without any consequence to the poster. If the information is false you put the person accused in the positon of saying “Of course I didn’t (hit my wife, etc)”.

    And, outside of the classic edge cases like whistleblowers, why is anonymity or pseudonymity important? What grand goal is achieved by letting Diggers, blog posters or blog commenters post be anonymous?

  294. You say, “It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop.” Attacking women is PART of our culture. How often do you read or hear about a woman killed, beaten, or raped by a man? Do you think we would notice it more if we were hearing about a black men killed or beaten by white men? Does anyone remember the recent school shootings where the attackers singled out women and girls for murder? Do you think the response would have been different if the attacker were singling out Jews? Violence towards women is such a part of our culture that it’s just background noise.

    Ah yes, this one. So here’s the truth. Men get beaten, abused, and yes, raped in far greater numbers than anyone thinks. The problem is, they won’t report it. Because when they do, it’s not taken seriously, they’re looked at as “less than men”, etc.

    It’s not just men doing this, treating abused men like they’re somehow less than fully functional men because something bad happened to them. Women doctors, police officers and the like do it too. It’s particularly bad in the homosexual community where a good number of the victims are afraid to even admit they’re gay, much less abused.

    I know we all want to believe that women are somehow special here. They aren’t. That’s not good, by the way. We just pay MORE attention to this kind of thing when it happens to women. Male on male rape is still mired in the same situation women were in a hundred years ago, only worse, because there’s even more stigma attached to it.

    To try and make this some kind of “women’s” problem is to trivialize it by creating some imaginary “safe” class. That’s a trap. Casual violence towards people is a problem period. The sex, age, race, religion, or orientation of the victim doesn’t increase or lessen the problem.

  295. Robert,

    I don’t like the idea of going dark for Kathy, which you suggest and I’ve seen mirrored on other blogs regarding this meme.

    Why go dark? To let some insolent, misguided assholes make you stop doing what you love to do? I can see Kathy taking a step back, but I’d fault her too if she didn’t return.

    Without dredging up the tired argument of whether or not the A-list exists, you, Rubel, Seth Godin and others have a vast, networked platform to communicate your message to millions (literally) of people. What a gift! Going dark does nothing besides stage a symbolic sit-in.

    Don’t do it. Don’t let the other top-tier bloggers do it. Hell, I WON’T DO IT. We need to rally, to drive a stake into the admittedly shaky ground of this medium, and make things better.

    As John Gruber said when he wrote his LogoMaid story: (paraphrased) all bug and vermin run and hide when exposed to light. They prefer the dark, as that’s what gives birth to their behavior in the first place.

    Light is a disinfectant, Robert. Don’t go dark about this. Nobody should go dark about this.

    Thanks.

    Jeff Ventura
    Graceful Flavor

  296. You say, “It’s this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop.” Attacking women is PART of our culture. How often do you read or hear about a woman killed, beaten, or raped by a man? Do you think we would notice it more if we were hearing about a black men killed or beaten by white men? Does anyone remember the recent school shootings where the attackers singled out women and girls for murder? Do you think the response would have been different if the attacker were singling out Jews? Violence towards women is such a part of our culture that it’s just background noise.

    Ah yes, this one. So here’s the truth. Men get beaten, abused, and yes, raped in far greater numbers than anyone thinks. The problem is, they won’t report it. Because when they do, it’s not taken seriously, they’re looked at as “less than men”, etc.

    It’s not just men doing this, treating abused men like they’re somehow less than fully functional men because something bad happened to them. Women doctors, police officers and the like do it too. It’s particularly bad in the homosexual community where a good number of the victims are afraid to even admit they’re gay, much less abused.

    I know we all want to believe that women are somehow special here. They aren’t. That’s not good, by the way. We just pay MORE attention to this kind of thing when it happens to women. Male on male rape is still mired in the same situation women were in a hundred years ago, only worse, because there’s even more stigma attached to it.

    To try and make this some kind of “women’s” problem is to trivialize it by creating some imaginary “safe” class. That’s a trap. Casual violence towards people is a problem period. The sex, age, race, religion, or orientation of the victim doesn’t increase or lessen the problem.

  297. Robert,

    I don’t like the idea of going dark for Kathy, which you suggest and I’ve seen mirrored on other blogs regarding this meme.

    Why go dark? To let some insolent, misguided assholes make you stop doing what you love to do? I can see Kathy taking a step back, but I’d fault her too if she didn’t return.

    Without dredging up the tired argument of whether or not the A-list exists, you, Rubel, Seth Godin and others have a vast, networked platform to communicate your message to millions (literally) of people. What a gift! Going dark does nothing besides stage a symbolic sit-in.

    Don’t do it. Don’t let the other top-tier bloggers do it. Hell, I WON’T DO IT. We need to rally, to drive a stake into the admittedly shaky ground of this medium, and make things better.

    As John Gruber said when he wrote his LogoMaid story: (paraphrased) all bug and vermin run and hide when exposed to light. They prefer the dark, as that’s what gives birth to their behavior in the first place.

    Light is a disinfectant, Robert. Don’t go dark about this. Nobody should go dark about this.

    Thanks.

    Jeff Ventura
    Graceful Flavor

  298. Well what do you expect when anyone just can blog, write reviews, make videos. The internet needs moderation for the IQ of user. Just take a simple test when you log on and from there you will be able to see what you are allowed to do. Yes its sounds horrible and big brotherish, but none the less mandatory. Like those people who cheered that man from England while he hung himself. Horrible and don’t even get me started on myspace. Well thats my 2 cents.

  299. Well what do you expect when anyone just can blog, write reviews, make videos. The internet needs moderation for the IQ of user. Just take a simple test when you log on and from there you will be able to see what you are allowed to do. Yes its sounds horrible and big brotherish, but none the less mandatory. Like those people who cheered that man from England while he hung himself. Horrible and don’t even get me started on myspace. Well thats my 2 cents.

  300. I totally agree with your moment (week) of silence. Becoming enraged about the issue and issuing more words is not a solution with power behind it. People are learning of the miscarriage and I think it’s wise to simply stand against it. Simple and potent.

    As I think many people have said in one way or another, people should be responsible for their actions, and their words when they are actions. People should have the courage to own what they say and do, and the knowledge that if they do not wish to own it, then they should not be saying it or doing it. Here’s hoping we’re clever enough to bring that about.

  301. I totally agree with your moment (week) of silence. Becoming enraged about the issue and issuing more words is not a solution with power behind it. People are learning of the miscarriage and I think it’s wise to simply stand against it. Simple and potent.

    As I think many people have said in one way or another, people should be responsible for their actions, and their words when they are actions. People should have the courage to own what they say and do, and the knowledge that if they do not wish to own it, then they should not be saying it or doing it. Here’s hoping we’re clever enough to bring that about.

  302. The stuff in Google’s caches on MeanKids.org is just sick and baseless. What kind of moron would put their name (it’s not all anonymous) to that crap?

    The Internet’s strength–ease of access, pseudo-anonymity–is also it’s weakness, as with anything in life. However, I think we naturally work to sift this; that’s what society is: imposition of ‘social norms’ on systems which tend to extremism at the edges. The overbearing reaction to the hate crime against Kathy has shown this.

    Of course, we must not forget to hold those responsible for this accountable (and we must be sure we are correct in our accusations).

  303. The stuff in Google’s caches on MeanKids.org is just sick and baseless. What kind of moron would put their name (it’s not all anonymous) to that crap?

    The Internet’s strength–ease of access, pseudo-anonymity–is also it’s weakness, as with anything in life. However, I think we naturally work to sift this; that’s what society is: imposition of ‘social norms’ on systems which tend to extremism at the edges. The overbearing reaction to the hate crime against Kathy has shown this.

    Of course, we must not forget to hold those responsible for this accountable (and we must be sure we are correct in our accusations).

  304. I think there’s a lot of over-reaction here, with peoples comments coming on the basis of Scobles and Kathys own viewpoints, true or false.

    I would condemn such vitriol if it were truly, and in context, aimed and targeted at an individual, male or female. However, we dont know this for sure. We can only go on those ‘viewpoints’ shared as they are within these pages.

    Lets play the facts here and:

    Not get hysterical
    Not jump to conclusions
    Not give more weight to something already history
    Act like grown ups

    These are not ‘death’ threats in my opinion, although I see I’m in the minority. The pictures are disturbing yes, author indeed unknown, but the text author has owned up, and I think deserves his viewpoint (he explains it clearly, and throws up enough questions in my mind to be at least be heard)

    Is it not “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” In the USA, or have things changed???.

    My gut feel after reading everything is that this is a band wagon which has exceeded the original crime, achieved notoreity, made the news and kicked up some relevant discussions.

    However, there are worse things said and shown on the World Wide Web. If only we could harness this indignation, rhetoric and people power agaiinst some of that far worse content, the Net would be a better place.

    Lets move on people.

    Tucker

  305. I think there’s a lot of over-reaction here, with peoples comments coming on the basis of Scobles and Kathys own viewpoints, true or false.

    I would condemn such vitriol if it were truly, and in context, aimed and targeted at an individual, male or female. However, we dont know this for sure. We can only go on those ‘viewpoints’ shared as they are within these pages.

    Lets play the facts here and:

    Not get hysterical
    Not jump to conclusions
    Not give more weight to something already history
    Act like grown ups

    These are not ‘death’ threats in my opinion, although I see I’m in the minority. The pictures are disturbing yes, author indeed unknown, but the text author has owned up, and I think deserves his viewpoint (he explains it clearly, and throws up enough questions in my mind to be at least be heard)

    Is it not “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” In the USA, or have things changed???.

    My gut feel after reading everything is that this is a band wagon which has exceeded the original crime, achieved notoreity, made the news and kicked up some relevant discussions.

    However, there are worse things said and shown on the World Wide Web. If only we could harness this indignation, rhetoric and people power agaiinst some of that far worse content, the Net would be a better place.

    Lets move on people.

    Tucker

  306. John I am not saying “rape of men does not exist” or “rape of men is less bad” when I say that it’s staggering that we as a culture accept such high levels of violence towards women. It would make me very happy if my gender was not a factor in the level of violence that I am at risk for. That’s not my reality.

    “To try and make this some kind of “women’s” problem is to trivialize it by creating some imaginary “safe” class.”

    I agree that problems labelled as women’s problems are trivialized. I would argue that is because women in general are trivialized in patriachal cultures. The solution is not to avoid recognizing that some problems do apply more often to women than to men. The solution is to stop trivializing women. Talking about rape and rape threats without talking about misogyny is like discussing US poverty without mentioning race.

  307. John I am not saying “rape of men does not exist” or “rape of men is less bad” when I say that it’s staggering that we as a culture accept such high levels of violence towards women. It would make me very happy if my gender was not a factor in the level of violence that I am at risk for. That’s not my reality.

    “To try and make this some kind of “women’s” problem is to trivialize it by creating some imaginary “safe” class.”

    I agree that problems labelled as women’s problems are trivialized. I would argue that is because women in general are trivialized in patriachal cultures. The solution is not to avoid recognizing that some problems do apply more often to women than to men. The solution is to stop trivializing women. Talking about rape and rape threats without talking about misogyny is like discussing US poverty without mentioning race.

  308. @Tucker

    Go look at the Google cache of meankids.org. I don’t think the reaction here and elswhere is over-. If anything, I think it’s under.

  309. @Tucker

    Go look at the Google cache of meankids.org. I don’t think the reaction here and elswhere is over-. If anything, I think it’s under.

  310. And, outside of the classic edge cases like whistleblowers, why is anonymity or pseudonymity important? What grand goal is achieved by letting Diggers, blog posters or blog commenters post be anonymous?

    Totally agree. Well, almost totally. Nobody wants to get Dooced, and a lot of employers outside the tech industry have no clue about blogs. I can understand why a lot of bloggers would want to be anonymous/pseudonymous, because their views may conflict with those of their bosses or employers. (I’m talking more about political blogs here, but it could apply in any arena.)

    That said, I don’t like anonymous comments at all. If you’ve got something to say, cowboy up and put your name to it. Crybabies? Bullcrap. There’s NO REASON to put up with that garbage. None. Nobody blogs to be some hateful moron’s punching bag. I also wonder how Tucker and Roland Dobbins and others like them–presumably without blogs of their own!–would react if they were in the same situation. After a while, the shit gets old, and it’s easy to say they’re “crybabies” from the cheap seats.

  311. And, outside of the classic edge cases like whistleblowers, why is anonymity or pseudonymity important? What grand goal is achieved by letting Diggers, blog posters or blog commenters post be anonymous?

    Totally agree. Well, almost totally. Nobody wants to get Dooced, and a lot of employers outside the tech industry have no clue about blogs. I can understand why a lot of bloggers would want to be anonymous/pseudonymous, because their views may conflict with those of their bosses or employers. (I’m talking more about political blogs here, but it could apply in any arena.)

    That said, I don’t like anonymous comments at all. If you’ve got something to say, cowboy up and put your name to it. Crybabies? Bullcrap. There’s NO REASON to put up with that garbage. None. Nobody blogs to be some hateful moron’s punching bag. I also wonder how Tucker and Roland Dobbins and others like them–presumably without blogs of their own!–would react if they were in the same situation. After a while, the shit gets old, and it’s easy to say they’re “crybabies” from the cheap seats.

  312. Robert,

    Attacking women for their blogging doesn’t just happen in the tech community. Peggy Phillip, one of the few tv executive bloggers (who lived in Memphis, TN) closed down her blog last year due to similar attacks. It was on Terry Heaton’s blog:

    http://www.thepomoblog.com/archive/the-tactics-of-peggyblues/

    Often, the tech community’s a little myopic to what happens to women outside the tech community–but similar things to what happened to Kathy *do* happen. And when they happen to any woman, no matter what topic she blogs on, no matter what profession (because, let’s face it, most professions are still male-dominated) we all need to know about it.

  313. Robert,

    Attacking women for their blogging doesn’t just happen in the tech community. Peggy Phillip, one of the few tv executive bloggers (who lived in Memphis, TN) closed down her blog last year due to similar attacks. It was on Terry Heaton’s blog:

    http://www.thepomoblog.com/archive/the-tactics-of-peggyblues/

    Often, the tech community’s a little myopic to what happens to women outside the tech community–but similar things to what happened to Kathy *do* happen. And when they happen to any woman, no matter what topic she blogs on, no matter what profession (because, let’s face it, most professions are still male-dominated) we all need to know about it.

  314. If indeed the accused acted as stated, they should be openly confronted and backed down within an inch of their lives. (just symbolism folks)

    These bullies are analogous to the world’s current problem with terrorists. They rely on their terrified victims to do nothing or something symbolic.

    Take Spain for example. Just before their presidential elections the terrorists bomb their trains. The conservative easily ahead in the polls then loses the election because the cowered populace doesn’t have the spine to confront the terrorists.

    The terrorists got exactly the result they were looking for. A president who would leave them alone.

    Call them terrorists, bullies, or whatever else you please. Even the appearance of not fighting back fuels their agenda. They should be systematically crushed – nothing else will work.

  315. If indeed the accused acted as stated, they should be openly confronted and backed down within an inch of their lives. (just symbolism folks)

    These bullies are analogous to the world’s current problem with terrorists. They rely on their terrified victims to do nothing or something symbolic.

    Take Spain for example. Just before their presidential elections the terrorists bomb their trains. The conservative easily ahead in the polls then loses the election because the cowered populace doesn’t have the spine to confront the terrorists.

    The terrorists got exactly the result they were looking for. A president who would leave them alone.

    Call them terrorists, bullies, or whatever else you please. Even the appearance of not fighting back fuels their agenda. They should be systematically crushed – nothing else will work.

  316. I was threatened too. Of course we males have thicker skin but doing it to a lady is criminal. Can’t anybody be sued for that? Robert, please be pro-active and organize some lawsuit!!!

  317. I was threatened too. Of course we males have thicker skin but doing it to a lady is criminal. Can’t anybody be sued for that? Robert, please be pro-active and organize some lawsuit!!!

  318. I’m sorry, but I don’t get it.

    You’re suddenly all crazy because some people have given death threats in some blogs and as comments. Now you want them to stop doing it and set an internet or moral standard, about what you should and you shouldn’t do.

    Well, first off, I guess that giving death threats is illegal, isn’t it? The same way as child pornography is illegal. Kathy felt it was crossing the line of the legality and contacted the police. It’s not that easy to be truly anonymous, isn’t it?

    If you think that sexual jokes, or about women, or about pinguins, should be banned, well, that’s another thing, right? Then a law should say so. Here in the US you are very proud (and IMHO rightly so, in most of the cases) about your freedom of speech rights. There should be a limitation, of course, but that is not anything specific at all about the internet.

    What is the difference between posting something offensive in a university billboard and do it in a blog? Actually it’s more traceable the internet post, and more people will be helping out to the cause of removing illegal content (say jokes about pinguins).

    But second, should you take seriously death threats from a blog post? I think this is a little overreacted.

    (and please, don’t take me wrong, I am sorry about those people that got death threats, I know that it’s much easier to talk when you are not the one getting them)

  319. I’m sorry, but I don’t get it.

    You’re suddenly all crazy because some people have given death threats in some blogs and as comments. Now you want them to stop doing it and set an internet or moral standard, about what you should and you shouldn’t do.

    Well, first off, I guess that giving death threats is illegal, isn’t it? The same way as child pornography is illegal. Kathy felt it was crossing the line of the legality and contacted the police. It’s not that easy to be truly anonymous, isn’t it?

    If you think that sexual jokes, or about women, or about pinguins, should be banned, well, that’s another thing, right? Then a law should say so. Here in the US you are very proud (and IMHO rightly so, in most of the cases) about your freedom of speech rights. There should be a limitation, of course, but that is not anything specific at all about the internet.

    What is the difference between posting something offensive in a university billboard and do it in a blog? Actually it’s more traceable the internet post, and more people will be helping out to the cause of removing illegal content (say jokes about pinguins).

    But second, should you take seriously death threats from a blog post? I think this is a little overreacted.

    (and please, don’t take me wrong, I am sorry about those people that got death threats, I know that it’s much easier to talk when you are not the one getting them)

  320. so much vanity and self importance here…. it is a non issue, people are dumb, get over it, if you let that influence your life you will never do anything….

  321. so much vanity and self importance here…. it is a non issue, people are dumb, get over it, if you let that influence your life you will never do anything….

  322. It is very hard to continue to deal with so much angst, anger, rude behavior and down right ignorance. I could get over it much better if I could do a “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” routine on every peckerhead I have to deal with.

    Sure people over react, but the larger concern here is how we treat each other as human beings period. To say this is of no import is just accepting rude and improper behavior.

    Perhaps a set of communities that have some accountability to them would go a long way to having people near us who are willing to enter into a dialog that actually leads to something. I don’t agree with any blogger on everything, heck sometimes very little.

    I admire your symbolic support toward better community Robert.

  323. It is very hard to continue to deal with so much angst, anger, rude behavior and down right ignorance. I could get over it much better if I could do a “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” routine on every peckerhead I have to deal with.

    Sure people over react, but the larger concern here is how we treat each other as human beings period. To say this is of no import is just accepting rude and improper behavior.

    Perhaps a set of communities that have some accountability to them would go a long way to having people near us who are willing to enter into a dialog that actually leads to something. I don’t agree with any blogger on everything, heck sometimes very little.

    I admire your symbolic support toward better community Robert.

  324. [...] Taking the week off [Scobleizer - Tech Geek Blogger] Scoble: “I’m physically ill after reading what happened to Kathy Sierra. Maryam and several others here at PodTech asked me about it and are concerned since the same sites that are attacking Kathy also mentioned me and Maryam.” (tags: blog scoble ethics kathysierra) [...]

  325. These attacks on Kathy Sierra are the personification of all that is evil and toxic. At the same time, the best of the Internet culture — the kinship, democracy of ideas, authenticity of expression — are clarified in our chorus of outrage and commitment to retain the best and make it better. Keep the faith.

  326. These attacks on Kathy Sierra are the personification of all that is evil and toxic. At the same time, the best of the Internet culture — the kinship, democracy of ideas, authenticity of expression — are clarified in our chorus of outrage and commitment to retain the best and make it better. Keep the faith.

  327. It has a name.

    Hi Robert,

    You don’t know me, though we’re “friends” on Twitter, and I’m a regular reader. I needed to step in here and say a few things. I apologize in advance for a long comment, but I have some experience with this issue, and the topic couldn’t be more important.

    First – my deepest sympathy on what you, Maryam, Kathy and others have been forced to experience. It’s contemptible, and has absolutely no place in a civilized society. You have my respect for taking this issue seriously, and my post to Kathy in comments yesterday afternoon (it’s under my name) absolutely applies to you and Maryam as well, including the sincere offer of help if there is ever anything at all that I can do.

    I resisted the urge to post this anywhere yesterday, because I didn’t want to make Kathy or your and Maryam’s experience “all about me” – but reading further comments left today at Kathy’s blog from “H-tler” and “N-gger” at Kathy’s site, along with the link to a Stormfront site in the discussion at Burningbird have compelled me to speak out further.

    ###

    What you all have just experienced has a name – it’s hate speech. I know that that’s a loaded term for many liberal-minded folks, but it’s also accurate.

    It’s also something with which I unfortunately have first hand experience. I am in an interracial marriage (my wife is African American, I’m white) and our home happens to be located in an area with a significant skinhead population. The majority of their wrath has actually been directed at me (apparently being a “race traitor” is an even worse crime than being black) but like you, I take the threats against my wife even more seriously than those against me.

    So seriously, actually, that we moved – at least temporarily. We’ve been debating whether or not to move back.

    I’m taking the time to write all of this, and expose far more of my personal life online than I ever thought I would, because you and Kathy are very influential people, and you have the ability to shine a lot of light on some areas that could really use the attention. My fear is that the gnat-like attention span of much of the blogosphere will move on to something else tomorrow, and that the dismissive attitude of folks like Valleywag (who essentially wrote this off as a “nerd fight” that will go away tomorrow) will be proven true. Violence – whether physical or psychological – in my experience is usually only shrugged off so callously by those who have never had to experience it first hand.

    This isn’t just a blogosphere issue, or even a tech industry issue – - it’s a human issue. We either have standards for civilized behavior, or we don’t.

    Hate speech is a problem that’s on the rise in America – online and off – and it needs to be taken very, very seriously. If you’re interested, in my opinion, Dave Niewert at Orcinus has been doing some of the best writing and reporting on this topic that you’ll find anywhere for the last several years. In particular he wrote a very insightful piece on why exactly hate speech has to be considered a violent crime against the community (I’m paraphrasing here, I was unable to find the exact link with a quick search, but I’ll find it and post if you’re interested.)

    I’ve also decided that I need to start talking more about this as well. I really kind of preferred anonymity and privacy, frankly – - that’s why I’ve never had an extensive personal blog, despite running some topic-focused ones, and contributing to many, many others over the years – - but as I said in Kathy’s comments, some things need to be said in the daylight. So here I am. I just had a friend reserve a domain name for me (today is a travel day for me and I’m writing this offline) ReluctantBlogger.com and I will post additional resources there sometime later this week for anyone who is interested in taking further action on this issue.

    Thanks again Robert, and my warmest wishes to you and your family. Please know that there are a lot of people out here who have your back, and we vastly outnumber the monsters – we just need to watch out for each other.

  328. It has a name.

    Hi Robert,

    You don’t know me, though we’re “friends” on Twitter, and I’m a regular reader. I needed to step in here and say a few things. I apologize in advance for a long comment, but I have some experience with this issue, and the topic couldn’t be more important.

    First – my deepest sympathy on what you, Maryam, Kathy and others have been forced to experience. It’s contemptible, and has absolutely no place in a civilized society. You have my respect for taking this issue seriously, and my post to Kathy in comments yesterday afternoon (it’s under my name) absolutely applies to you and Maryam as well, including the sincere offer of help if there is ever anything at all that I can do.

    I resisted the urge to post this anywhere yesterday, because I didn’t want to make Kathy or your and Maryam’s experience “all about me” – but reading further comments left today at Kathy’s blog from “H-tler” and “N-gger” at Kathy’s site, along with the link to a Stormfront site in the discussion at Burningbird have compelled me to speak out further.

    ###

    What you all have just experienced has a name – it’s hate speech. I know that that’s a loaded term for many liberal-minded folks, but it’s also accurate.

    It’s also something with which I unfortunately have first hand experience. I am in an interracial marriage (my wife is African American, I’m white) and our home happens to be located in an area with a significant skinhead population. The majority of their wrath has actually been directed at me (apparently being a “race traitor” is an even worse crime than being black) but like you, I take the threats against my wife even more seriously than those against me.

    So seriously, actually, that we moved – at least temporarily. We’ve been debating whether or not to move back.

    I’m taking the time to write all of this, and expose far more of my personal life online than I ever thought I would, because you and Kathy are very influential people, and you have the ability to shine a lot of light on some areas that could really use the attention. My fear is that the gnat-like attention span of much of the blogosphere will move on to something else tomorrow, and that the dismissive attitude of folks like Valleywag (who essentially wrote this off as a “nerd fight” that will go away tomorrow) will be proven true. Violence – whether physical or psychological – in my experience is usually only shrugged off so callously by those who have never had to experience it first hand.

    This isn’t just a blogosphere issue, or even a tech industry issue – - it’s a human issue. We either have standards for civilized behavior, or we don’t.

    Hate speech is a problem that’s on the rise in America – online and off – and it needs to be taken very, very seriously. If you’re interested, in my opinion, Dave Niewert at Orcinus has been doing some of the best writing and reporting on this topic that you’ll find anywhere for the last several years. In particular he wrote a very insightful piece on why exactly hate speech has to be considered a violent crime against the community (I’m paraphrasing here, I was unable to find the exact link with a quick search, but I’ll find it and post if you’re interested.)

    I’ve also decided that I need to start talking more about this as well. I really kind of preferred anonymity and privacy, frankly – - that’s why I’ve never had an extensive personal blog, despite running some topic-focused ones, and contributing to many, many others over the years – - but as I said in Kathy’s comments, some things need to be said in the daylight. So here I am. I just had a friend reserve a domain name for me (today is a travel day for me and I’m writing this offline) ReluctantBlogger.com and I will post additional resources there sometime later this week for anyone who is interested in taking further action on this issue.

    Thanks again Robert, and my warmest wishes to you and your family. Please know that there are a lot of people out here who have your back, and we vastly outnumber the monsters – we just need to watch out for each other.

  329. I’ve been in technoloy for 15 years, and I’ve observed fairly consistent antisocial behavior among technologist, especially progammers. This behavior runs at a higher rate than in society at large. It’s a combination of arrogance and poor social skills that manifests itself in inappropriate insults and snarkiness, at best, and the type of attacks against Kathy Sierra, at worst. What’s the cause? Is it poorly developed social skills?

  330. I’ve been in technoloy for 15 years, and I’ve observed fairly consistent antisocial behavior among technologist, especially progammers. This behavior runs at a higher rate than in society at large. It’s a combination of arrogance and poor social skills that manifests itself in inappropriate insults and snarkiness, at best, and the type of attacks against Kathy Sierra, at worst. What’s the cause? Is it poorly developed social skills?

  331. Paul Bryant: I’ve been hearing about tons of stories the past few days like yours. It really pisses me off and depresses me. A lot of us love making other people suffer.

    I don’t know what to do, other than to keep the focus on. And, believe me, I will. If there’s any shame to come back to my own head it’s that I haven’t spoken up earlier as I saw hate speech delivered.

    My first impulse here was just to mourn the potential loss of one of my favorite bloggers. I love Kathy’s writing, I frequently put it on my link blog. And, if she’s driven out of this community cause of speech aimed at her, then I think we’ve all lost something really grand and beautiful.

    But, your experiences, and many others who’ve written me about being faced online and offline with this kind of behavior, makes me mourn the human experience.

    Just be assured that you do not suffer alone. You’re in my thoughts tonight.

  332. Paul Bryant: I’ve been hearing about tons of stories the past few days like yours. It really pisses me off and depresses me. A lot of us love making other people suffer.

    I don’t know what to do, other than to keep the focus on. And, believe me, I will. If there’s any shame to come back to my own head it’s that I haven’t spoken up earlier as I saw hate speech delivered.

    My first impulse here was just to mourn the potential loss of one of my favorite bloggers. I love Kathy’s writing, I frequently put it on my link blog. And, if she’s driven out of this community cause of speech aimed at her, then I think we’ve all lost something really grand and beautiful.

    But, your experiences, and many others who’ve written me about being faced online and offline with this kind of behavior, makes me mourn the human experience.

    Just be assured that you do not suffer alone. You’re in my thoughts tonight.

  333. Is it not “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” In the USA, or have things changed???

    Oh that silly old thing? Now it’s “everyone but ME is guilty until proven innocent, because the other way is too inconvenient to my immediate need for justice without that long wait for facts.

    John I am not saying “rape of men does not exist” or “rape of men is less bad” when I say that it’s staggering that we as a culture accept such high levels of violence towards women.

    Where the fuck is this la-di-da attitude towards rape and violence against women on an institutional level still? I don’t mean bullshit like porn and Hooters. I mean, where are these millions of people who, when a woman gets raped are seriously cheering on the rapist? If you’re talking about movies and TV, here’s something: Don’t watch. If enough people stop watching, the money factor goes away, and it’s no longer a problem. But this idea that men just stand around yelling “GO BRA GO” when a woman is raped or assaulted is demeaning towards EVERYONE.

    It would make me very happy if my gender was not a factor in the level of violence that I am at risk for. That’s not my reality.

    Is that even english? your gender is a factor in the violence you are at risk for? Funny how a friend of mine’s sister, all five foot nothing in socks, when someone tried to rape her, grabbed the guy, who was a good foot taller than her, shoved him in the trunk of her car, and drove to the police station. When the she opened the trunk for the cops, she was so pissed that she jumped the guy AGAIN, and commenced to beating his ass. They had to pull her off of him.

    It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. If you refuse to be helpless, and a victim with every fiber of your body, you’d be amazed at how your risk drops.

    “To try and make this some kind of “women’s” problem is to trivialize it by creating some imaginary “safe” class.”
    I agree that problems labelled as women’s problems are trivialized. I would argue that is because women in general are trivialized in patriachal cultures.

    Oh DO stop twisting my words to suit your agenda. Patriarchal class my ass. If I get attacked by a guy and beat his ass, at worst, it’s assault with intent. If I get attacked by a woman and beat her ass, it’s assault, a hate crime, probably sexual assault, etc. etc. Violence is wrong, period. This idea that it’s MORE wrong when a woman is involved is why men who are victims of it won’t go to the cops unless the cops happen to show up.

    The solution is not to avoid recognizing that some problems do apply more often to women than to men. The solution is to stop trivializing women. Talking about rape and rape threats without talking about misogyny is like discussing US poverty without mentioning race.

    Right. Because only women get assaulted and raped. Until you start classifying this as a crime against people, you’re going nowhere.

    Oh, and you want to talk about misogyny? Right, so tell me why men are portrayed as absolute morons on TV with regularity? Tell me why Lifetime is an entire channel of “The penis is evil”, yet that’s okay? Tell me why a guy who wants to work with children is ASSUMED to be a perv from the get-go? Tell me why the only chance a man has for custody of his kids, even if he is CLEARLY the better parent is if the woman is a COMPLETE loser, or she agrees? Tell me why, in spite of the fact that I’ve been a parent for 13 years now, most of that single, people still assume i’m a complete incompetent with kids, solely because I have a winkie?

    It flows both ways, and it’s just as bad. The difference is, treating guys like that is now considered part of popular culture too. But that’s okay, because treating guys like shit is okay now, right?

  334. Is it not “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” In the USA, or have things changed???

    Oh that silly old thing? Now it’s “everyone but ME is guilty until proven innocent, because the other way is too inconvenient to my immediate need for justice without that long wait for facts.

    John I am not saying “rape of men does not exist” or “rape of men is less bad” when I say that it’s staggering that we as a culture accept such high levels of violence towards women.

    Where the fuck is this la-di-da attitude towards rape and violence against women on an institutional level still? I don’t mean bullshit like porn and Hooters. I mean, where are these millions of people who, when a woman gets raped are seriously cheering on the rapist? If you’re talking about movies and TV, here’s something: Don’t watch. If enough people stop watching, the money factor goes away, and it’s no longer a problem. But this idea that men just stand around yelling “GO BRA GO” when a woman is raped or assaulted is demeaning towards EVERYONE.

    It would make me very happy if my gender was not a factor in the level of violence that I am at risk for. That’s not my reality.

    Is that even english? your gender is a factor in the violence you are at risk for? Funny how a friend of mine’s sister, all five foot nothing in socks, when someone tried to rape her, grabbed the guy, who was a good foot taller than her, shoved him in the trunk of her car, and drove to the police station. When the she opened the trunk for the cops, she was so pissed that she jumped the guy AGAIN, and commenced to beating his ass. They had to pull her off of him.

    It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. If you refuse to be helpless, and a victim with every fiber of your body, you’d be amazed at how your risk drops.

    “To try and make this some kind of “women’s” problem is to trivialize it by creating some imaginary “safe” class.”
    I agree that problems labelled as women’s problems are trivialized. I would argue that is because women in general are trivialized in patriachal cultures.

    Oh DO stop twisting my words to suit your agenda. Patriarchal class my ass. If I get attacked by a guy and beat his ass, at worst, it’s assault with intent. If I get attacked by a woman and beat her ass, it’s assault, a hate crime, probably sexual assault, etc. etc. Violence is wrong, period. This idea that it’s MORE wrong when a woman is involved is why men who are victims of it won’t go to the cops unless the cops happen to show up.

    The solution is not to avoid recognizing that some problems do apply more often to women than to men. The solution is to stop trivializing women. Talking about rape and rape threats without talking about misogyny is like discussing US poverty without mentioning race.

    Right. Because only women get assaulted and raped. Until you start classifying this as a crime against people, you’re going nowhere.

    Oh, and you want to talk about misogyny? Right, so tell me why men are portrayed as absolute morons on TV with regularity? Tell me why Lifetime is an entire channel of “The penis is evil”, yet that’s okay? Tell me why a guy who wants to work with children is ASSUMED to be a perv from the get-go? Tell me why the only chance a man has for custody of his kids, even if he is CLEARLY the better parent is if the woman is a COMPLETE loser, or she agrees? Tell me why, in spite of the fact that I’ve been a parent for 13 years now, most of that single, people still assume i’m a complete incompetent with kids, solely because I have a winkie?

    It flows both ways, and it’s just as bad. The difference is, treating guys like that is now considered part of popular culture too. But that’s okay, because treating guys like shit is okay now, right?

  335. That said, I don’t like anonymous comments at all. If you’ve got something to say, cowboy up and put your name to it. Crybabies? Bullcrap. There’s NO REASON to put up with that garbage. None. Nobody blogs to be some hateful moron’s punching bag. I also wonder how Tucker and Roland Dobbins and others like them–presumably without blogs of their own!–would react if they were in the same situation. After a while, the shit gets old, and it’s easy to say they’re “crybabies” from the cheap seats.

    Right. Because it’s all anonymity. Why, what’s anonymity ever done. Okay, The Federalist Papers. But other than that, it’s useless, right?

  336. That said, I don’t like anonymous comments at all. If you’ve got something to say, cowboy up and put your name to it. Crybabies? Bullcrap. There’s NO REASON to put up with that garbage. None. Nobody blogs to be some hateful moron’s punching bag. I also wonder how Tucker and Roland Dobbins and others like them–presumably without blogs of their own!–would react if they were in the same situation. After a while, the shit gets old, and it’s easy to say they’re “crybabies” from the cheap seats.

    Right. Because it’s all anonymity. Why, what’s anonymity ever done. Okay, The Federalist Papers. But other than that, it’s useless, right?

  337. Any guys including VCs thought about how scared the women in tech world now.

    I am the unlucky one. I received a mobile text massage from a stranger. The message is in bad language with words like “broken arm” and “badly spraned” from area code 310, on Sun 5:40pm. Santa Monica is not too far from San Diego, the ETech Conference Kathy Sierra cancelled her talks.

    Such bad timing. I hope this is a one-time incident. I will change my phone no if it keeps coming. It seems like it is affecting a few female bloggers and not other female groups yet. We need to stop this before it spreads to other tech areas.

    Impact? I am planning to take the stage in the next 2-3 weeks in tech events. Now I am back to the thinking stage, or hiding hole. Now guys ask why there are so few females appear in tech events. That is your answer.

  338. Any guys including VCs thought about how scared the women in tech world now.

    I am the unlucky one. I received a mobile text massage from a stranger. The message is in bad language with words like “broken arm” and “badly spraned” from area code 310, on Sun 5:40pm. Santa Monica is not too far from San Diego, the ETech Conference Kathy Sierra cancelled her talks.

    Such bad timing. I hope this is a one-time incident. I will change my phone no if it keeps coming. It seems like it is affecting a few female bloggers and not other female groups yet. We need to stop this before it spreads to other tech areas.

    Impact? I am planning to take the stage in the next 2-3 weeks in tech events. Now I am back to the thinking stage, or hiding hole. Now guys ask why there are so few females appear in tech events. That is your answer.

  339. Phew! What a discussion. Mr. Scoble, it appears you accomplished your goal, which is surely a good thing Got a lot of discussion going. It seems in all of the Mr. Welch has the most rational outlook. People’s comments only affect you when you let them. There is really not a lot that can be done about this. Stopping blogging as some sort of symbolic protest is admirable, but does anyone really believe that once the blogging starts again, the sociopaths won’t return? There are a lot of similarities to terrorism here. Terrorist are the same type of cowards. They work in anonymity but hope to succeed by disrupting people’s behavior. The same thing seems to be going on here. So, if they cause you to alter your behavior, then they’ve succeeded. I’m afraid that while your actions may be noble, they may will turn out to have the opposite effect. It may only embolden them.

    Mr. Scoble, regarding the cached comments on MeanKids; while certainly crude and insulting, I’m not sure you will get an apology. It was simply someone’s feeble attempt at humor. Welcome to Def Comedy Jam, basically. What has me curious is why your dear wife felt the need to make such intimate details of her life so public? Having that type of personal information out there for the world to see would seem to only encourage the kooks.

    Not sure there is a solution in all of this. If they are indeed legitimate death threats I’m curious why Ms. Sierra didn’t get law enforcement involved almost immediately? Wouldn’t they have been able to determine the level of threat?

  340. Phew! What a discussion. Mr. Scoble, it appears you accomplished your goal, which is surely a good thing Got a lot of discussion going. It seems in all of the Mr. Welch has the most rational outlook. People’s comments only affect you when you let them. There is really not a lot that can be done about this. Stopping blogging as some sort of symbolic protest is admirable, but does anyone really believe that once the blogging starts again, the sociopaths won’t return? There are a lot of similarities to terrorism here. Terrorist are the same type of cowards. They work in anonymity but hope to succeed by disrupting people’s behavior. The same thing seems to be going on here. So, if they cause you to alter your behavior, then they’ve succeeded. I’m afraid that while your actions may be noble, they may will turn out to have the opposite effect. It may only embolden them.

    Mr. Scoble, regarding the cached comments on MeanKids; while certainly crude and insulting, I’m not sure you will get an apology. It was simply someone’s feeble attempt at humor. Welcome to Def Comedy Jam, basically. What has me curious is why your dear wife felt the need to make such intimate details of her life so public? Having that type of personal information out there for the world to see would seem to only encourage the kooks.

    Not sure there is a solution in all of this. If they are indeed legitimate death threats I’m curious why Ms. Sierra didn’t get law enforcement involved almost immediately? Wouldn’t they have been able to determine the level of threat?

  341. I think this will make you all pitty celebrities that receives this stuff all the time. Unfortunately, webclebs doesn’t make enough to have their own bodyguards. Nevertheless, I think this goes to show the importance of online privacy! I really hope some smart geek will be able to track these people down.

  342. I think this will make you all pitty celebrities that receives this stuff all the time. Unfortunately, webclebs doesn’t make enough to have their own bodyguards. Nevertheless, I think this goes to show the importance of online privacy! I really hope some smart geek will be able to track these people down.

  343. I say we all stop blogging for a day, two days or even a week just like Robert did—you know, sort of like a “no blogging day” or “week”. It won’t be a very hard thing to do, and if enough people do it, we’ll get the issue out to the general public.

    In the blogosphere context, it’s like saying to the readers and fellow bloggers that, if they don’t want to miss us, we all better work together to work this issue out.

  344. I say we all stop blogging for a day, two days or even a week just like Robert did—you know, sort of like a “no blogging day” or “week”. It won’t be a very hard thing to do, and if enough people do it, we’ll get the issue out to the general public.

    In the blogosphere context, it’s like saying to the readers and fellow bloggers that, if they don’t want to miss us, we all better work together to work this issue out.

  345. Implying a connection between people who write mean things about you and received death threats is just as wrong as the threats themselves.

    Perhaps the “mean” people named in Sierra’s post should consider hiring a lawyer, for they would seem to have a case of being very publicly slandered by her.

  346. Implying a connection between people who write mean things about you and received death threats is just as wrong as the threats themselves.

    Perhaps the “mean” people named in Sierra’s post should consider hiring a lawyer, for they would seem to have a case of being very publicly slandered by her.

  347. Welch, Stop, please.

    I used to respect your views untile these posts.
    I know, I know, you don’t care.

    But equating real world female rape with male rape, discounting womens fears and real world history is sad.

    My respect for you is gone.

  348. Welch, Stop, please.

    I used to respect your views untile these posts.
    I know, I know, you don’t care.

    But equating real world female rape with male rape, discounting womens fears and real world history is sad.

    My respect for you is gone.

  349. [...] Taking the week off « Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger I’m physically ill after reading what happened to Kathy Sierra. Maryam and several others here at PodTech asked me about it and are concerned since the same sites that are attacking Kathy also mentioned me and Maryam. Maryam is really freaked out about (tags: sierra culture deaththreats death threats socialnetworking scoble transparency privacy CCW) [...]

  350. [...] It doesn’t end here though. A little earlier this week Robert Scoble reported that derogatory comments had been made about his wife, Maryam on the meankids.org site. In support of Kathy Sierra and in protest over this sort of disgusting behaviour on the Web, Scoble has stopped blogging for a week. [...]

  351. [...] Besides not revealing any personal information to anybody and disabling anonymous posting on all blogs (imo all comments should leave a visible ip address!), there seems to be no way to shut out attacks like these. The community needs to rally around Kathy and let the world know this sort of behavior is totally unacceptable.Robert Scoble said this on his blog post on the matter: [...]

  352. To me this is a tech break up, wake up .

    Shelly Powers thru out, won’t wake up to the state of the blogs, re her blog.

    Shes done it, wit her subsequent posts on her blog.
    no respect.

  353. To me this is a tech break up, wake up .

    Shelly Powers thru out, won’t wake up to the state of the blogs, re her blog.

    Shes done it, wit her subsequent posts on her blog.
    no respect.

  354. I’ve now realised that Paynter deleted meankids right after the post about Maryam was made.

    However Locke, one of the participants who refused to be censored by Paynter, then set up unclebobism, where the attacks on Sierra were made.

  355. I’ve now realised that Paynter deleted meankids right after the post about Maryam was made.

    However Locke, one of the participants who refused to be censored by Paynter, then set up unclebobism, where the attacks on Sierra were made.

  356. What happened is not at all called for. People can criticise others but given death threats is taking it way off the boundaries. Hopefully the police will get to the bottom of this.

    True Sri Lankan – A Sri Lankan Blogger

    I believe that all Sri Lankan bloggers would like to express their support to you at this moment.

    http://www.kottu.org – Sri Lankan blog directory

  357. What happened is not at all called for. People can criticise others but given death threats is taking it way off the boundaries. Hopefully the police will get to the bottom of this.

    True Sri Lankan – A Sri Lankan Blogger

    I believe that all Sri Lankan bloggers would like to express their support to you at this moment.

    http://www.kottu.org – Sri Lankan blog directory

  358. it seems there are a lot of people who know exactly how everybody else should react. you don’t. nobody can know until they’re in the situation, and none of you are wearing Kathy and Robert and Maryam’s shoes. Even if you’ve been in similar situations, it’s not the same. you don’t know what other history there is. you don’t have the wisdom of the intuition of the person who’s living it. you cannot know what is right for them to do.

    Welch, Roland… everyone else who thinks Robert and Kathy should start blogging, or go speak at Etech… you can know what you would need to do in a similar situation, and that’s fabulous. trust that Kathy and Robert and Maryam and whoever else know what they need to do too. That’s the first step of empowerment. It could well be different to your response. let it be.

    i’ve been assaulted – once in a random attack, the other situation was long term abuse as a child. i’ve also been stalked. i know from talking about this with even just a few friends that this is not unusual. my reaction to each of those situations was different each time. what i needed to do changed. if it were to happen again, i don’t know what i would do. but i do know what my options are. and being able to choose whether to bunker down, whether to go about my life as normal, whether to move countries, whether to go public… whatever…knowing i have the option means i have the power.

    never, never assume what another person should do. and always stand by someone when they make the choice they need to make. it’s absolutely, unequivocally, the most supportive thing you can do.

  359. it seems there are a lot of people who know exactly how everybody else should react. you don’t. nobody can know until they’re in the situation, and none of you are wearing Kathy and Robert and Maryam’s shoes. Even if you’ve been in similar situations, it’s not the same. you don’t know what other history there is. you don’t have the wisdom of the intuition of the person who’s living it. you cannot know what is right for them to do.

    Welch, Roland… everyone else who thinks Robert and Kathy should start blogging, or go speak at Etech… you can know what you would need to do in a similar situation, and that’s fabulous. trust that Kathy and Robert and Maryam and whoever else know what they need to do too. That’s the first step of empowerment. It could well be different to your response. let it be.

    i’ve been assaulted – once in a random attack, the other situation was long term abuse as a child. i’ve also been stalked. i know from talking about this with even just a few friends that this is not unusual. my reaction to each of those situations was different each time. what i needed to do changed. if it were to happen again, i don’t know what i would do. but i do know what my options are. and being able to choose whether to bunker down, whether to go about my life as normal, whether to move countries, whether to go public… whatever…knowing i have the option means i have the power.

    never, never assume what another person should do. and always stand by someone when they make the choice they need to make. it’s absolutely, unequivocally, the most supportive thing you can do.

  360. Welch, Stop, please.

    No. Sorry, but we all have a right to our views, even if you don’t like them. I would suggest you learn how to deal with it.

    I used to respect your views untile these posts.
    I know, I know, you don’t care.

    And yet, your first reaction is to try to get me to be silent. Hmm.

    But equating real world female rape with male rape, discounting womens fears and real world history is sad.

    Wait, so rape is OKAY if a guy is the victim? The only rapes that count are women? Are you serious? Ask the guys who grew up getting raped by priests if it was “real” or not. Acknowledging and admitting that rape and assault is not the sole domain of women, but is EVERYONE’S problem is not discounting it. The idea that there’s some special “autovictim” status applied to all women at birth is inane, demeaning, and belittling. Sounds to me like you need to open your eyes a bit.

    My respect for you is gone.

    I would say you had none for me in the first place, because respect exists outside of disagreement.

  361. Welch, Stop, please.

    No. Sorry, but we all have a right to our views, even if you don’t like them. I would suggest you learn how to deal with it.

    I used to respect your views untile these posts.
    I know, I know, you don’t care.

    And yet, your first reaction is to try to get me to be silent. Hmm.

    But equating real world female rape with male rape, discounting womens fears and real world history is sad.

    Wait, so rape is OKAY if a guy is the victim? The only rapes that count are women? Are you serious? Ask the guys who grew up getting raped by priests if it was “real” or not. Acknowledging and admitting that rape and assault is not the sole domain of women, but is EVERYONE’S problem is not discounting it. The idea that there’s some special “autovictim” status applied to all women at birth is inane, demeaning, and belittling. Sounds to me like you need to open your eyes a bit.

    My respect for you is gone.

    I would say you had none for me in the first place, because respect exists outside of disagreement.

  362. John C. Welsh: “Ah yes, this one. So here’s the truth. Men get beaten, abused, and yes, raped in far greater numbers than anyone thinks. The problem is, they won’t report it.”

    Several anonymous studies have shown that’s true; men don’t report when they’ve been sexually assaulted or even just assaulted because of the stigma attached. However, again according to these studies, combined with aggregate crime statistics – the numbers are still overwhelmingly tipped in the direction of women when it comes to both assaults and sexual assaults – by an estimated 8 to 1, actually; that is 8 women are assaulted for every 1 man assaulted. That’s a pretty significant indication that we our culture of violence is directed primarily at women.

    And an important point here is that the people who are doing the raping and assaulting of men are – 92% of the time – other men, who are playing into gender bias and homophobia to humiliate their victims. Sure, treating guys like shit is just as wrong. But it IS some guys who are the problem, and we are talking about misogyny and homophobia that are factors in most sexual assaults of both men and women.

    I was stalked and raped in college, and I was recently stalked via the internet as well; this time the police got to the guy first and he’s on probation and far away from me now. So when I read this from Welch: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. If you refuse to be helpless, and a victim with every fiber of your body, you’d be amazed at how your risk drops.

    Wow – that’s so not true, and blaming the victim. It sounds like you’re suggesting that if she does end up raped, she just didn’t fight hard enough. Believe me, how hard you fight doesn’t matter if the guy is just bigger than you are. Welch, you’re not a rape counselor, so please stop going down this path, because women could get killed taking your advice.

    The solution, here, is for men to step up and confront other men when they’re behaving in ways that are derogatory to women. Women can’t do it alone.

    I agree that with John Welch on several points, though, that eliminating anonymous comments won’t help – it isn’t the problem and people need anonyimity when they are in oppressive situations.

  363. John C. Welsh: “Ah yes, this one. So here’s the truth. Men get beaten, abused, and yes, raped in far greater numbers than anyone thinks. The problem is, they won’t report it.”

    Several anonymous studies have shown that’s true; men don’t report when they’ve been sexually assaulted or even just assaulted because of the stigma attached. However, again according to these studies, combined with aggregate crime statistics – the numbers are still overwhelmingly tipped in the direction of women when it comes to both assaults and sexual assaults – by an estimated 8 to 1, actually; that is 8 women are assaulted for every 1 man assaulted. That’s a pretty significant indication that we our culture of violence is directed primarily at women.

    And an important point here is that the people who are doing the raping and assaulting of men are – 92% of the time – other men, who are playing into gender bias and homophobia to humiliate their victims. Sure, treating guys like shit is just as wrong. But it IS some guys who are the problem, and we are talking about misogyny and homophobia that are factors in most sexual assaults of both men and women.

    I was stalked and raped in college, and I was recently stalked via the internet as well; this time the police got to the guy first and he’s on probation and far away from me now. So when I read this from Welch: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. If you refuse to be helpless, and a victim with every fiber of your body, you’d be amazed at how your risk drops.

    Wow – that’s so not true, and blaming the victim. It sounds like you’re suggesting that if she does end up raped, she just didn’t fight hard enough. Believe me, how hard you fight doesn’t matter if the guy is just bigger than you are. Welch, you’re not a rape counselor, so please stop going down this path, because women could get killed taking your advice.

    The solution, here, is for men to step up and confront other men when they’re behaving in ways that are derogatory to women. Women can’t do it alone.

    I agree that with John Welch on several points, though, that eliminating anonymous comments won’t help – it isn’t the problem and people need anonyimity when they are in oppressive situations.

  364. I sympathize totally with your viewpoint Robert. I’m constantly saddened by what appears to be either a very active minority or sadly a majority of users all across the web on “socially” or “Comment” enabled sites. Just look at the average user comment on YouTube or Google Videos. The number of racist, sexist, hateful and cruel attacks on other members of the human race seem to be in the majority. If this is the level that we sink to without authority then its presenting a very sad and pessimistic view of the human race. I don’t know what can be done, its just very sad that something needs to be.

  365. I sympathize totally with your viewpoint Robert. I’m constantly saddened by what appears to be either a very active minority or sadly a majority of users all across the web on “socially” or “Comment” enabled sites. Just look at the average user comment on YouTube or Google Videos. The number of racist, sexist, hateful and cruel attacks on other members of the human race seem to be in the majority. If this is the level that we sink to without authority then its presenting a very sad and pessimistic view of the human race. I don’t know what can be done, its just very sad that something needs to be.

  366. And an important point here is that the people who are doing the raping and assaulting of men are – 92% of the time – other men, who are playing into gender bias and homophobia to humiliate their victims. Sure, treating guys like shit is just as wrong. But it IS some guys who are the problem, and we are talking about misogyny and homophobia that are factors in most sexual assaults of both men and women.

    Were these people raised in caves by stalagmites? It takes a village to raise an asshole.

    I was stalked and raped in college, and I was recently stalked via the internet as well; this time the police got to the guy first and he’s on probation and far away from me now. So when I read this from Welch: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. If you refuse to be helpless, and a victim with every fiber of your body, you’d be amazed at how your risk drops.”

    Wow – that’s so not true, and blaming the victim. It sounds like you’re suggesting that if she does end up raped, she just didn’t fight hard enough. Believe me, how hard you fight doesn’t matter if the guy is just bigger than you are. Welch, you’re not a rape counselor, so please stop going down this path, because women could get killed taking your advice.

    Nonsense. It’s not blaming the victim at all, no matter how you’d like to see it. The guy being bigger than you is completely immaterial. Really. There’s far too many women who have come out of confrontations with bigger assailants without being raped or killed for mere physical size to be the issue. In fact, speaking strictly from a center of gravity POV, being smaller is an advantage. But again, you bring up an interesting, albeit invalid point: Women are helpless when attacked by a man. This is of course, bullshit, but it lays out the danger in how we socialize women. We train them, from an early age to fear physical confrontation. We teach them that they have two options in the case of an attack: Run, and hope you’re faster, or pray for the best, and hope you’re alive when it’s all done.

    What does that do? It teaches women that no matter what they do in life, no matter what they achieve, no matter what they attain, they will always have an additional role: Victim to any guy who cares to smack them around.

    The truly astonishing part is how many women perpetuate this. “Oh, it doesn’t matter, if the guy is bigger than you, you’re done.” Crap, crap, and crap. Even worse, we’ve taught women to fear strength. “Oh, I don’t want to work out too hard, I don’t want to lose my femininity”. It’s like being strong, physically strong, physically capable is at odds with being female. As long as this kind of shit it perpetuated, as long as we keep teaching women that they are helpless in the face of an assault of any kind, then yes, the majority of women will be a victim class, because that’s all they know. Do you always win fighting back? Not in the short run. But in the long run, yeah, yeah you do. I can tell you that meekly taking it won’t get you anything.

    The solution, here, is for men to step up and confront other men when they’re behaving in ways that are derogatory to women. Women can’t do it alone.

    When you’re alone in that parking lot, you either do it alone, or not at all. Yes, we do have a responsibility to step up when someone’s being a tool to anyone. Female, male, black, white, gay, straight, whatever. But if women won’t step up to their own self-defense, then they’ve no hope at all.

    I agree that with John Welch on several points, though, that eliminating anonymous comments won’t help – it isn’t the problem and people need anonyimity when they are in oppressive situations.

    Well, on that we can agree.

  367. And an important point here is that the people who are doing the raping and assaulting of men are – 92% of the time – other men, who are playing into gender bias and homophobia to humiliate their victims. Sure, treating guys like shit is just as wrong. But it IS some guys who are the problem, and we are talking about misogyny and homophobia that are factors in most sexual assaults of both men and women.

    Were these people raised in caves by stalagmites? It takes a village to raise an asshole.

    I was stalked and raped in college, and I was recently stalked via the internet as well; this time the police got to the guy first and he’s on probation and far away from me now. So when I read this from Welch: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. If you refuse to be helpless, and a victim with every fiber of your body, you’d be amazed at how your risk drops.”

    Wow – that’s so not true, and blaming the victim. It sounds like you’re suggesting that if she does end up raped, she just didn’t fight hard enough. Believe me, how hard you fight doesn’t matter if the guy is just bigger than you are. Welch, you’re not a rape counselor, so please stop going down this path, because women could get killed taking your advice.

    Nonsense. It’s not blaming the victim at all, no matter how you’d like to see it. The guy being bigger than you is completely immaterial. Really. There’s far too many women who have come out of confrontations with bigger assailants without being raped or killed for mere physical size to be the issue. In fact, speaking strictly from a center of gravity POV, being smaller is an advantage. But again, you bring up an interesting, albeit invalid point: Women are helpless when attacked by a man. This is of course, bullshit, but it lays out the danger in how we socialize women. We train them, from an early age to fear physical confrontation. We teach them that they have two options in the case of an attack: Run, and hope you’re faster, or pray for the best, and hope you’re alive when it’s all done.

    What does that do? It teaches women that no matter what they do in life, no matter what they achieve, no matter what they attain, they will always have an additional role: Victim to any guy who cares to smack them around.

    The truly astonishing part is how many women perpetuate this. “Oh, it doesn’t matter, if the guy is bigger than you, you’re done.” Crap, crap, and crap. Even worse, we’ve taught women to fear strength. “Oh, I don’t want to work out too hard, I don’t want to lose my femininity”. It’s like being strong, physically strong, physically capable is at odds with being female. As long as this kind of shit it perpetuated, as long as we keep teaching women that they are helpless in the face of an assault of any kind, then yes, the majority of women will be a victim class, because that’s all they know. Do you always win fighting back? Not in the short run. But in the long run, yeah, yeah you do. I can tell you that meekly taking it won’t get you anything.

    The solution, here, is for men to step up and confront other men when they’re behaving in ways that are derogatory to women. Women can’t do it alone.

    When you’re alone in that parking lot, you either do it alone, or not at all. Yes, we do have a responsibility to step up when someone’s being a tool to anyone. Female, male, black, white, gay, straight, whatever. But if women won’t step up to their own self-defense, then they’ve no hope at all.

    I agree that with John Welch on several points, though, that eliminating anonymous comments won’t help – it isn’t the problem and people need anonyimity when they are in oppressive situations.

    Well, on that we can agree.

  368. [...] original post which started this all said that she was going to stop blogging and soon afterwards Robert Scoble decided to take the week off from blogging because he was so “ill” over this. This [...]

  369. Just blogged about Kathy’s incident here. I don’t think this issue can get enough visibility.

    Every blogger who feels his or her medium is worth validating and protecting should have some thoughts along these lines.

  370. Just blogged about Kathy’s incident here. I don’t think this issue can get enough visibility.

    Every blogger who feels his or her medium is worth validating and protecting should have some thoughts along these lines.

  371. [...] volgens mij een nieuwe vorm van ‘blacklisting’! Update: Robert Scoble heeft besloten een week lang niet te bloggen naar aanleiding van dit incident. Wat hij er precies mee wil bereiken is mij niet geheel duidelijk, [...]

  372. “We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.”

    Neat. A discussion. That’ll fix it. That’s so, well, Web 2.0

    You’re not going to “fix this culture.” This culture is just an uncensored microcosm of the real culture.

    Think about that the next time you’re having a real world face to face political discussion with your friends.

    Depending on the leanings of the group, try : “You know, George Bush has a lot of really good ideas.”

    Or

    “George Bush is really just Hitler from Texas.”

    Then flip those statements around. Make sure everybody feels there is no possibility of dissent in the selected group.

  373. “We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.”

    Neat. A discussion. That’ll fix it. That’s so, well, Web 2.0

    You’re not going to “fix this culture.” This culture is just an uncensored microcosm of the real culture.

    Think about that the next time you’re having a real world face to face political discussion with your friends.

    Depending on the leanings of the group, try : “You know, George Bush has a lot of really good ideas.”

    Or

    “George Bush is really just Hitler from Texas.”

    Then flip those statements around. Make sure everybody feels there is no possibility of dissent in the selected group.

  374. gvanderleun @312
    Discussion is exposure, shinning a light on abhorrent behavior allows people to become familer with a situation so that they, as an individual or a group, can do something.

    Nobody fixes a culture, but a group, mass, or collection can effect a change.

    Guy

  375. gvanderleun @312
    Discussion is exposure, shinning a light on abhorrent behavior allows people to become familer with a situation so that they, as an individual or a group, can do something.

    Nobody fixes a culture, but a group, mass, or collection can effect a change.

    Guy

  376. Clay Shirky talks about Four Things To Design For (with regards to social software) in his article A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy and his third point is a good one.

    Three, you need barriers to participation. This is one of the things that killed Usenet. You have to have some cost to either join or participate, if not at the lowest level, then at higher levels. There needs to be some kind of segmentation of capabilities.

    Now, the segmentation can be total — you’re in or you’re out, as with the music group I just listed. Or it can be partial — anyone can read Slashdot, anonymous cowards can post, non-anonymous cowards can post with a higher rating. But to moderate, you really have to have been around for a while.

    It has to be hard to do at least some things on the system for some users, or the core group will not have the tools that they need to defend themselves.

    Now, this pulls against the cardinal virtue of ease of use. But ease of use is wrong. Ease of use is the wrong way to look at the situation, because you’ve got the Necker cube flipped in the wrong direction. The user of social software is the group, not the individual.

    I think we’ve all been to meetings where everyone had a really good time, we’re all talking to one another and telling jokes and laughing, and it was a great meeting, except we got nothing done. Everyone was amusing themselves so much that the group’s goal was defeated by the individual interventions.

    The user of social software is the group, and ease of use should be for the group. If the ease of use is only calculated from the user’s point of view, it will be difficult to defend the group from the “group is its own worst enemy” style attacks from within.

    In effect, we’ve made participation too easy for certain social software like blogging. In comparison, if you act like an idiot on a Half-Life gaming server today, the admin members of that community server can ban you easily since your game has a unique ID code. Therefore the barrier of participation is the cost of the game. You want to come back to that server and act like an idiot for another 10 seconds before you’re banned again, you’re welcome to go buy another copy of the game. Of course, you could always go to a internet cafe and use their computers but once their banned as well, you’re SOL.

  377. Clay Shirky talks about Four Things To Design For (with regards to social software) in his article A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy and his third point is a good one.

    Three, you need barriers to participation. This is one of the things that killed Usenet. You have to have some cost to either join or participate, if not at the lowest level, then at higher levels. There needs to be some kind of segmentation of capabilities.

    Now, the segmentation can be total — you’re in or you’re out, as with the music group I just listed. Or it can be partial — anyone can read Slashdot, anonymous cowards can post, non-anonymous cowards can post with a higher rating. But to moderate, you really have to have been around for a while.

    It has to be hard to do at least some things on the system for some users, or the core group will not have the tools that they need to defend themselves.

    Now, this pulls against the cardinal virtue of ease of use. But ease of use is wrong. Ease of use is the wrong way to look at the situation, because you’ve got the Necker cube flipped in the wrong direction. The user of social software is the group, not the individual.

    I think we’ve all been to meetings where everyone had a really good time, we’re all talking to one another and telling jokes and laughing, and it was a great meeting, except we got nothing done. Everyone was amusing themselves so much that the group’s goal was defeated by the individual interventions.

    The user of social software is the group, and ease of use should be for the group. If the ease of use is only calculated from the user’s point of view, it will be difficult to defend the group from the “group is its own worst enemy” style attacks from within.

    In effect, we’ve made participation too easy for certain social software like blogging. In comparison, if you act like an idiot on a Half-Life gaming server today, the admin members of that community server can ban you easily since your game has a unique ID code. Therefore the barrier of participation is the cost of the game. You want to come back to that server and act like an idiot for another 10 seconds before you’re banned again, you’re welcome to go buy another copy of the game. Of course, you could always go to a internet cafe and use their computers but once their banned as well, you’re SOL.

  378. How much of this is a publicity stunt? Are accusations supported with facts in all instances?

    It sadly seems a little off the page, on both sides: the hostility/vulgarity of patriarchal male impotents, and the paranoid hysteria of the martyrs, victims, or innocents.

    To renounce blogging or the blogosphere, for even a symbolic brief period of time, is shameful and is to Submit to Terrorism.

    For my part, I Shall Not Submit.

  379. How much of this is a publicity stunt? Are accusations supported with facts in all instances?

    It sadly seems a little off the page, on both sides: the hostility/vulgarity of patriarchal male impotents, and the paranoid hysteria of the martyrs, victims, or innocents.

    To renounce blogging or the blogosphere, for even a symbolic brief period of time, is shameful and is to Submit to Terrorism.

    For my part, I Shall Not Submit.

  380. Right. Because it’s all anonymity. Why, what’s anonymity ever done. Okay, The Federalist Papers. But other than that, it’s useless, right?

    Comment by John C. Welch — March 27, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

    Right. Because anonymous blog comments are the same thing as the Federalist Papers. Of course.

    Next non-sequitur, please.

  381. Right. Because it’s all anonymity. Why, what’s anonymity ever done. Okay, The Federalist Papers. But other than that, it’s useless, right?

    Comment by John C. Welch — March 27, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

    Right. Because anonymous blog comments are the same thing as the Federalist Papers. Of course.

    Next non-sequitur, please.

  382. Why is Kathy Sierra’s case different than Michelle Malkin’s case?

    Comment by Andy Freeman — March 28, 2007 @ 8:08 am

    It’s not, and it’s not any different from what any political blogger deals with–some daily, some receiving very credible and actionable threats, and some (like me) with their own personal online stalker/s.

    However, the tech blogs don’t see it as often, so it IS of interest. I’m glad people are realizing that it is a problem, though. I personally disagree with Malkin’s “where have you guys been?” angle, because it appears to minimize the problem when it’s going on less frequently than it does on political blogs; if it’s a problem to be dealt with, it should be dealt with across the spectrum of the blogosphere (not JUST political or tech or mommy-blogs or whatever). And just as I’m sure Malkin doesn’t spend much time on tech blogs, I’d guess Scoble, Sierra, and others don’t spend as much time as she does on political ones. I do understand her point, though; I just think it detracts from the overall issue.

  383. Why is Kathy Sierra’s case different than Michelle Malkin’s case?

    Comment by Andy Freeman — March 28, 2007 @ 8:08 am

    It’s not, and it’s not any different from what any political blogger deals with–some daily, some receiving very credible and actionable threats, and some (like me) with their own personal online stalker/s.

    However, the tech blogs don’t see it as often, so it IS of interest. I’m glad people are realizing that it is a problem, though. I personally disagree with Malkin’s “where have you guys been?” angle, because it appears to minimize the problem when it’s going on less frequently than it does on political blogs; if it’s a problem to be dealt with, it should be dealt with across the spectrum of the blogosphere (not JUST political or tech or mommy-blogs or whatever). And just as I’m sure Malkin doesn’t spend much time on tech blogs, I’d guess Scoble, Sierra, and others don’t spend as much time as she does on political ones. I do understand her point, though; I just think it detracts from the overall issue.

  384. My belief is that the Internet can be a powerful force for good, and that the broad acceptance of blogging and social networking can continue to be harnessed for constructive purposes, not the propagation of fear, hate or other discriminatory acts.

    Is it right to protect the identity of people who clearly threaten others? If these perpetrators feel they can lurk in anonymity, the best approach is to shine a light on them, and expose them as they scurry like rats. I feel that everyone should take a Pledge to ‘out’ this type of behavior.

    For the past few months I have been part of a group that has been developing a social networking website that is devoted to supporting positive causes. If someone would like to sponsor a Pledge on YouChoose that addresses this attack on the blogosphere, I will support it with all resources at our disposal to make sure it is promoted as broadly as possible.

  385. My belief is that the Internet can be a powerful force for good, and that the broad acceptance of blogging and social networking can continue to be harnessed for constructive purposes, not the propagation of fear, hate or other discriminatory acts.

    Is it right to protect the identity of people who clearly threaten others? If these perpetrators feel they can lurk in anonymity, the best approach is to shine a light on them, and expose them as they scurry like rats. I feel that everyone should take a Pledge to ‘out’ this type of behavior.

    For the past few months I have been part of a group that has been developing a social networking website that is devoted to supporting positive causes. If someone would like to sponsor a Pledge on YouChoose that addresses this attack on the blogosphere, I will support it with all resources at our disposal to make sure it is promoted as broadly as possible.

  386. You are right, some of these people are over the top. The sickest thing is that people think that just because they have freedom of speech, that it is okay to act this way. It is not!

    My blog has strict rules against this type of behavior. I have had death threats too, but I tend to ignore them.

    To talk to a woman in such a way, is bad enough.

    This makes me very angry. I’m not a violent person, but if I see someone in person disrespecting women, they WILL have to answer to me and my anger, which ain’t pretty.

    I hope you, your family, and your friends get over this unfortunate situation soon. I enjoy reading your work, and I hope to see you back soon my friend.

    God bless you and your wife.

  387. You are right, some of these people are over the top. The sickest thing is that people think that just because they have freedom of speech, that it is okay to act this way. It is not!

    My blog has strict rules against this type of behavior. I have had death threats too, but I tend to ignore them.

    To talk to a woman in such a way, is bad enough.

    This makes me very angry. I’m not a violent person, but if I see someone in person disrespecting women, they WILL have to answer to me and my anger, which ain’t pretty.

    I hope you, your family, and your friends get over this unfortunate situation soon. I enjoy reading your work, and I hope to see you back soon my friend.

    God bless you and your wife.

  388. > because [this has been SOP wrt Michelle Malkin for quite a while] appears to minimize the problem when it’s going on less frequently than it does on political blogs

    It only minimizes it if one thinkx that it’s acceptable when it happens to Malkin or that mentioning Malkin’s experience somehow makes being outraged about Sierra less comfortable.

    BTW – Malkin doesn’t think that this is acceptable behavior, so it is somewhat “interesting” to cite her and disagree with a suggestion of “minimization”.

    If it’s wrong across the board, the past response to Malkin is interesting. I’m willing to believe “I didn’t know” a couple of times.

    If, on the other hand, it’s not as big an issue when Malkin is involved, let’s hear the principle involved.

  389. > because [this has been SOP wrt Michelle Malkin for quite a while] appears to minimize the problem when it’s going on less frequently than it does on political blogs

    It only minimizes it if one thinkx that it’s acceptable when it happens to Malkin or that mentioning Malkin’s experience somehow makes being outraged about Sierra less comfortable.

    BTW – Malkin doesn’t think that this is acceptable behavior, so it is somewhat “interesting” to cite her and disagree with a suggestion of “minimization”.

    If it’s wrong across the board, the past response to Malkin is interesting. I’m willing to believe “I didn’t know” a couple of times.

    If, on the other hand, it’s not as big an issue when Malkin is involved, let’s hear the principle involved.

  390. > because [this has been SOP wrt Michelle Malkin for quite a while] appears to minimize the problem when it’s going on less frequently than it does on political blogs

    It only minimizes it if one thinkx that it’s acceptable when it happens to Malkin or that mentioning Malkin’s experience somehow makes being outraged about Sierra less comfortable.

    BTW – Malkin doesn’t think that this is acceptable behavior, so it is somewhat “interesting” to cite her and disagree with a suggestion of “minimization”.

    If it’s wrong across the board, the past response to Malkin is interesting. I’m willing to believe “I didn’t know” a couple of times.

    If, on the other hand, it’s not as big an issue when Malkin is involved, let’s hear the principle involved.

  391. > I do understand her point, though; I just think it detracts from the overall issue.

    What is the overall issue such that mentioning Malkin’s experience affects/minimizes from the righteous response to Sierra’s experience?

    Is it Malkin’s participation in political discussion? Her political position? Be precise.

    Is it that Sierra’s abuse is made special by being unique and how dare anyone point out that it isn’t?

  392. > I do understand her point, though; I just think it detracts from the overall issue.

    What is the overall issue such that mentioning Malkin’s experience affects/minimizes from the righteous response to Sierra’s experience?

    Is it Malkin’s participation in political discussion? Her political position? Be precise.

    Is it that Sierra’s abuse is made special by being unique and how dare anyone point out that it isn’t?

  393. > I do understand her point, though; I just think it detracts from the overall issue.

    What is the overall issue such that mentioning Malkin’s experience affects/minimizes from the righteous response to Sierra’s experience?

    Is it Malkin’s participation in political discussion? Her political position? Be precise.

    Is it that Sierra’s abuse is made special by being unique and how dare anyone point out that it isn’t?

  394. I’m ashamed and saddened that Kathy has been subjected to this abuse, though I’m glad that misogamy in the tech sector is finally getting some attention. I for one cannot respond to this with silence. On the contrary, we need to speak out repeatedly and forcefully about this issue. We can make it clear not only that Kathy’s situation is unacceptable, but that we support women in the tech sector, and the respectful treatment of everyone that is part of the Internet conversation.

  395. I’m ashamed and saddened that Kathy has been subjected to this abuse, though I’m glad that misogamy in the tech sector is finally getting some attention. I for one cannot respond to this with silence. On the contrary, we need to speak out repeatedly and forcefully about this issue. We can make it clear not only that Kathy’s situation is unacceptable, but that we support women in the tech sector, and the respectful treatment of everyone that is part of the Internet conversation.

  396. I’m ashamed and saddened that Kathy has been subjected to this abuse, though I’m glad that misogamy in the tech sector is finally getting some attention. I for one cannot respond to this with silence. On the contrary, we need to speak out repeatedly and forcefully about this issue. We can make it clear not only that Kathy’s situation is unacceptable, but that we support women in the tech sector, and the respectful treatment of everyone that is part of the Internet conversation.

  397. Unfortunately the world contains people with low self-esteem. You and your wife are lovely people who build esteem among a community of like minds. Hold your head up and look to your community…we’re behind you.

  398. Unfortunately the world contains people with low self-esteem. You and your wife are lovely people who build esteem among a community of like minds. Hold your head up and look to your community…we’re behind you.

  399. Unfortunately the world contains people with low self-esteem. You and your wife are lovely people who build esteem among a community of like minds. Hold your head up and look to your community…we’re behind you.

  400. Code, Conduct – Words to Live By

    The biggest news of the last few days had been the upheaval caused by the deplorable comments and threats leveled at Kathy Sierra. I expect most of us have commented or at least heard about the events and our Cyndy Aleo-Carreira  wrote a very…

  401. One thing I learn to do to fight fear as a scared little kitty. We must sing louder than those hate-speech against tech females.

    (Begin softly…)

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    (Louder and louder…)

    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things
    And then I don’t feel so bad

    Hey Kathy Sierra,

    To help you get back to the stage at Tech Conference, I am willing to gather a singing group to back you up. We don’t have to be afraid because of those loud thunder storm and lightening. Our baby web group is part of O’Reilly network. We will be thrilled to help another O’Reilly Author.

    Of course, we can sing our other theme song “We’re All In This Together”.

  402. One thing I learn to do to fight fear as a scared little kitty. We must sing louder than those hate-speech against tech females.

    (Begin softly…)

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    (Louder and louder…)

    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things
    And then I don’t feel so bad

    Hey Kathy Sierra,

    To help you get back to the stage at Tech Conference, I am willing to gather a singing group to back you up. We don’t have to be afraid because of those loud thunder storm and lightening. Our baby web group is part of O’Reilly network. We will be thrilled to help another O’Reilly Author.

    Of course, we can sing our other theme song “We’re All In This Together”.

  403. One thing I learn to do to fight fear as a scared little kitty. We must sing louder than those hate-speech against tech females.

    (Begin softly…)

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things

    (Louder and louder…)

    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things
    And then I don’t feel so bad

    Hey Kathy Sierra,

    To help you get back to the stage at Tech Conference, I am willing to gather a singing group to back you up. We don’t have to be afraid because of those loud thunder storm and lightening. Our baby web group is part of O’Reilly network. We will be thrilled to help another O’Reilly Author.

    Of course, we can sing our other theme song “We’re All In This Together”.

  404. Well its pretty shocking all this stuff, but there is something to rethink of: we must be aware of that this kind of people (like those who have threatned Katy) coexists with us long time ago …now they are exposed by the internet now is the time for us to show up!! not to shut up!
    I know is easy to say it…but lets face it! one thing is true, we are not going to solve this by hiding,so please dont go away people lets show them we are stronger we must be.
    SO TECH PEOPLE, BLOGGERS AND EVERYBODY ELSE STAND OUT AND GET LOUD!!!
    (meankids or whatever your name is now: WATCH OUT! here we come!)

  405. Well its pretty shocking all this stuff, but there is something to rethink of: we must be aware of that this kind of people (like those who have threatned Katy) coexists with us long time ago …now they are exposed by the internet now is the time for us to show up!! not to shut up!
    I know is easy to say it…but lets face it! one thing is true, we are not going to solve this by hiding,so please dont go away people lets show them we are stronger we must be.
    SO TECH PEOPLE, BLOGGERS AND EVERYBODY ELSE STAND OUT AND GET LOUD!!!
    (meankids or whatever your name is now: WATCH OUT! here we come!)

  406. Well its pretty shocking all this stuff, but there is something to rethink of: we must be aware of that this kind of people (like those who have threatned Katy) coexists with us long time ago …now they are exposed by the internet now is the time for us to show up!! not to shut up!
    I know is easy to say it…but lets face it! one thing is true, we are not going to solve this by hiding,so please dont go away people lets show them we are stronger we must be.
    SO TECH PEOPLE, BLOGGERS AND EVERYBODY ELSE STAND OUT AND GET LOUD!!!
    (meankids or whatever your name is now: WATCH OUT! here we come!)

  407. Why don’t bloggers adopt the digital signature that has been around for several years now as a means of authenticating who’s posting comments on the various blogs. If I were to set up a blog I’d be tempted to have software installed that filter out comments posted by people not signing their comments with a valid digital signature. Of course, this may cause some hassle when attempting to verify the chain of trusted certification authorities. But this would probably just be teething problems that will quickly be solved if everyone agrees on going down this road.

    Passing a bill that demands ISPs to only hosts blogs that authenticates every comment posted via digital signatures might seem too much of a big brother state and certainly countries like China would be eager for such measures to be introduced. Anonymous blogs and emails are here to stay. But setting up blogs that only allows digitally signed comments may in the long run be seen as more serious than those blogs without such authentication.

  408. Why don’t bloggers adopt the digital signature that has been around for several years now as a means of authenticating who’s posting comments on the various blogs. If I were to set up a blog I’d be tempted to have software installed that filter out comments posted by people not signing their comments with a valid digital signature. Of course, this may cause some hassle when attempting to verify the chain of trusted certification authorities. But this would probably just be teething problems that will quickly be solved if everyone agrees on going down this road.

    Passing a bill that demands ISPs to only hosts blogs that authenticates every comment posted via digital signatures might seem too much of a big brother state and certainly countries like China would be eager for such measures to be introduced. Anonymous blogs and emails are here to stay. But setting up blogs that only allows digitally signed comments may in the long run be seen as more serious than those blogs without such authentication.

  409. Why don’t bloggers adopt the digital signature that has been around for several years now as a means of authenticating who’s posting comments on the various blogs. If I were to set up a blog I’d be tempted to have software installed that filter out comments posted by people not signing their comments with a valid digital signature. Of course, this may cause some hassle when attempting to verify the chain of trusted certification authorities. But this would probably just be teething problems that will quickly be solved if everyone agrees on going down this road.

    Passing a bill that demands ISPs to only hosts blogs that authenticates every comment posted via digital signatures might seem too much of a big brother state and certainly countries like China would be eager for such measures to be introduced. Anonymous blogs and emails are here to stay. But setting up blogs that only allows digitally signed comments may in the long run be seen as more serious than those blogs without such authentication.

  410. [...] calls her a “hopeless dipshit”) but they aren’t writing anonymous threats. Scoble and Broadsheet are both putting this whole incident squarely into the women in tech camp. The [...]

  411. No use repeating all the sentiments felt by those all over the world – there are no words to describe this. However, online is a reflection of offline and if we assume this, there should be no surprise (not to be confused with acceptance!) at what has happened.

    So what to do? Well the blogosphere is renown for finding the very deepest of secrets of the corporate world – “there are no more secrets” must be one of the most used lines in conferences presently, so though I understand and applaud your “protest”, I would remind you (with all the humility possible in the world) that it is through identifying and naming these people that you will bring back some sort of peace – not through silent protests – it seems the latter, much like Kathy’s non appearance (again I say this with the utmost respect for her and probably would do the same) won’t resolve this issue – could actually play into the hands of people who are actually more intent on disrupting than following through with their most absurd and sick comments.

    Good luck to those who have the power, strength and innovation to name and shame these cowards. Scoble – come back and help us – you are dearly needed!

  412. No use repeating all the sentiments felt by those all over the world – there are no words to describe this. However, online is a reflection of offline and if we assume this, there should be no surprise (not to be confused with acceptance!) at what has happened.

    So what to do? Well the blogosphere is renown for finding the very deepest of secrets of the corporate world – “there are no more secrets” must be one of the most used lines in conferences presently, so though I understand and applaud your “protest”, I would remind you (with all the humility possible in the world) that it is through identifying and naming these people that you will bring back some sort of peace – not through silent protests – it seems the latter, much like Kathy’s non appearance (again I say this with the utmost respect for her and probably would do the same) won’t resolve this issue – could actually play into the hands of people who are actually more intent on disrupting than following through with their most absurd and sick comments.

    Good luck to those who have the power, strength and innovation to name and shame these cowards. Scoble – come back and help us – you are dearly needed!

  413. No use repeating all the sentiments felt by those all over the world – there are no words to describe this. However, online is a reflection of offline and if we assume this, there should be no surprise (not to be confused with acceptance!) at what has happened.

    So what to do? Well the blogosphere is renown for finding the very deepest of secrets of the corporate world – “there are no more secrets” must be one of the most used lines in conferences presently, so though I understand and applaud your “protest”, I would remind you (with all the humility possible in the world) that it is through identifying and naming these people that you will bring back some sort of peace – not through silent protests – it seems the latter, much like Kathy’s non appearance (again I say this with the utmost respect for her and probably would do the same) won’t resolve this issue – could actually play into the hands of people who are actually more intent on disrupting than following through with their most absurd and sick comments.

    Good luck to those who have the power, strength and innovation to name and shame these cowards. Scoble – come back and help us – you are dearly needed!

  414. This behavior must be strongly condemned in the strongest possible way — if possible a legal action must be taken.

    Thanks Robert for standing up for a cause. We know that we can always depend upon you to raise your voice, sometimes by being silent, against horrible behavior from some people in our societies. Also thanks for standing by Kathy in this difficult times. I am sure she needs as much support as possible. Your non-blogging is making many of us aware of Kathy’s situation, thereby bringing additional support for her. This is necessary to protect freedom of speech in our societies.

  415. This behavior must be strongly condemned in the strongest possible way — if possible a legal action must be taken.

    Thanks Robert for standing up for a cause. We know that we can always depend upon you to raise your voice, sometimes by being silent, against horrible behavior from some people in our societies. Also thanks for standing by Kathy in this difficult times. I am sure she needs as much support as possible. Your non-blogging is making many of us aware of Kathy’s situation, thereby bringing additional support for her. This is necessary to protect freedom of speech in our societies.

  416. This behavior must be strongly condemned in the strongest possible way — if possible a legal action must be taken.

    Thanks Robert for standing up for a cause. We know that we can always depend upon you to raise your voice, sometimes by being silent, against horrible behavior from some people in our societies. Also thanks for standing by Kathy in this difficult times. I am sure she needs as much support as possible. Your non-blogging is making many of us aware of Kathy’s situation, thereby bringing additional support for her. This is necessary to protect freedom of speech in our societies.

  417. I have taken a pledge as a geek to use my internet powers for good. Reputation is the web 2.0 direction….maybe openid will help us all?

    How will openID absolutely tie anything to anyone. Does it have a magic “prevent fakery” algorithm? What about the legitimate uses of anonymity? Are those to be thrown out with the bathwater?

    Why don’t bloggers adopt the digital signature that has been around for several years now as a means of authenticating who’s posting comments on the various blogs. If I were to set up a blog I’d be tempted to have software installed that filter out comments posted by people not signing their comments with a valid digital signature. Of course, this may cause some hassle when attempting to verify the chain of trusted certification authorities. But this would probably just be teething problems that will quickly be solved if everyone agrees on going down this road.

    Because that would solve nothing, except the woes of the “fake digital id industry”. This is not a technical problem. Nimrodism is not solvable by technical means. It predates computers, it predates paper. Just because it happens on a computer doesn’t mean there is a technical solution. If that was the case, malware and phishing wouldn’t be a multibillion-dollar industry.

    Passing a bill that demands ISPs to only hosts blogs that authenticates every comment posted via digital signatures might seem too much of a big brother state and certainly countries like China would be eager for such measures to be introduced. Anonymous blogs and emails are here to stay. But setting up blogs that only allows digitally signed comments may in the long run be seen as more serious than those blogs without such authentication.

    No, it will only solve the problem of too many comments.

    You can’t stop a dingaling by making them fake an ID.

  418. I have taken a pledge as a geek to use my internet powers for good. Reputation is the web 2.0 direction….maybe openid will help us all?

    How will openID absolutely tie anything to anyone. Does it have a magic “prevent fakery” algorithm? What about the legitimate uses of anonymity? Are those to be thrown out with the bathwater?

    Why don’t bloggers adopt the digital signature that has been around for several years now as a means of authenticating who’s posting comments on the various blogs. If I were to set up a blog I’d be tempted to have software installed that filter out comments posted by people not signing their comments with a valid digital signature. Of course, this may cause some hassle when attempting to verify the chain of trusted certification authorities. But this would probably just be teething problems that will quickly be solved if everyone agrees on going down this road.

    Because that would solve nothing, except the woes of the “fake digital id industry”. This is not a technical problem. Nimrodism is not solvable by technical means. It predates computers, it predates paper. Just because it happens on a computer doesn’t mean there is a technical solution. If that was the case, malware and phishing wouldn’t be a multibillion-dollar industry.

    Passing a bill that demands ISPs to only hosts blogs that authenticates every comment posted via digital signatures might seem too much of a big brother state and certainly countries like China would be eager for such measures to be introduced. Anonymous blogs and emails are here to stay. But setting up blogs that only allows digitally signed comments may in the long run be seen as more serious than those blogs without such authentication.

    No, it will only solve the problem of too many comments.

    You can’t stop a dingaling by making them fake an ID.

  419. I have taken a pledge as a geek to use my internet powers for good. Reputation is the web 2.0 direction….maybe openid will help us all?

    How will openID absolutely tie anything to anyone. Does it have a magic “prevent fakery” algorithm? What about the legitimate uses of anonymity? Are those to be thrown out with the bathwater?

    Why don’t bloggers adopt the digital signature that has been around for several years now as a means of authenticating who’s posting comments on the various blogs. If I were to set up a blog I’d be tempted to have software installed that filter out comments posted by people not signing their comments with a valid digital signature. Of course, this may cause some hassle when attempting to verify the chain of trusted certification authorities. But this would probably just be teething problems that will quickly be solved if everyone agrees on going down this road.

    Because that would solve nothing, except the woes of the “fake digital id industry”. This is not a technical problem. Nimrodism is not solvable by technical means. It predates computers, it predates paper. Just because it happens on a computer doesn’t mean there is a technical solution. If that was the case, malware and phishing wouldn’t be a multibillion-dollar industry.

    Passing a bill that demands ISPs to only hosts blogs that authenticates every comment posted via digital signatures might seem too much of a big brother state and certainly countries like China would be eager for such measures to be introduced. Anonymous blogs and emails are here to stay. But setting up blogs that only allows digitally signed comments may in the long run be seen as more serious than those blogs without such authentication.

    No, it will only solve the problem of too many comments.

    You can’t stop a dingaling by making them fake an ID.

  420. Robert, I’ve never had contact with you but I guess that you will have met Ward Cunningham, the inventor of Wiki and one of the fathers of patterns and agile methods, who comes into my story in a big way from 1999. Though based in London I had the priviledge of visiting Ward in Portland for two days to chew over the future of wikis in the autumn of that year. That was the nearest I ever got to Seattle, where I assume you and Maryam still live. The admission that I do not know tells you that I am hardly a Scobleizer groupie. But I did notice you calling wikis ‘white hot’ late in 2006, around the time of the JotSpot sale to Google. That was hard for someone like me to miss.

    Ward of course is a big fan of the Head First series which Kathy helped to start. That’s another reason to mention him. But not the main one.

    Let me start by saying that I deeply appreciate the leadership you have shown the blogosphere and the net more widely by calling a halt to all other Scobleizer threads except this one, for a whole week. (And THAT surely is the point, most worthy readers, that this is all the man is concentrating on. So he’s doing exactly the opposite of being silent and giving in. He’s shining his much needed spotlight in exactly the right, dark place. He’s using his megaphone for the one key subject only, all week.)

    It was striking that when the BBC choose to link to this story on its front page two days ago the report in question linked just to Kathy and here. Well done indeed for using your A-list status in such an effective way. And muc respect to Kathy for her courage. (The repugnant tendency of those facing no threat to know better and feel braver than the rest of us is just one of the reminders that blog comments, based on limited or no true relationship, are not yet nirvana and surely never will be.)

    Since 1999 I’ve been very interested in two things: the power of wikis for social control and how to overcome the bigotry of net culture concerning the absolute right of any contributor anywhere to pseudonymity and anonymity with untraceability and thus (if desired) complete irresponsibility.

    The ‘social control’ is deliberately provocative. But Wikipedia, with all its flaws, has proved the point beyond doubt. There is enormous social control exercised in Wikipedia, by the small number of super-editors, leading to a fantastically useful resource for all of humanity (with all the past failings and future dangers of the massive, faux authority gained – until we can all check for certain who has written what).

    Anyhow, from 2000 onwards some people on Ward’s Wiki and its offshoots came to hate me. Or perhaps to oppose me for other, unknown reasons. By 2001 one of the most determinedly pseudonymous started to mention my imminent death with a regularity that bothered me. I decided to make that discomfort clear, publically.

    I loved Ward deeply. I still do. But I didn’t think that he or anyone else in the wiki world took this dispiriting episode as seriously as it required. That lack of support, as my reputation was roundly shredded by clever anonymous libel, as well as some unwise but well-respected wiki personalities, had very serious implications for me as an individual.

    But what was the great man to do? Wiki was at that time visited and edited by masses of people every day. Surely it was not reasonable to stop such a much-loved juggernaut, even for a few hours?

    As I’ve said already, maximum respect for the choice of Robert Scoble and his wife in this case.

    The deniable death threats on me (as I always called them) were far less nasty and explicit than the ones Kathy has suffered. But they help me understand just a little of the psychological challenges involved. (And there should be some just penalty for those who believe their most loving contribution at such a moment is, in effect, to publically debate the precise mental health of the innocent sufferer. My own situation degenerated to the point where anonymous assailants were having some success convincing real people, that I cared about, that I was now suffering from MPD. As others have said here, you don’t blame the victim. That is the starting point of all true compassion, as Robert and Maryam have demonstrated.)

    But here’s one more thing, out of left field (as I believe you say!) Many of my social circle had no idea what had befallen me on the net. I hardly bothered to explain to many. But one man I did tell, eighteen months ago. He knows little of technology. But the moment I spoke of an unknown individual who regularly mentioned my imminent death he said, with great force: “That is a curse.” He then prayed, with his wife, for that curse to be broken, in the name of Jesus. It was the most helpful few minutes I’ve experienced on the subject in six years. I recommend this form of ‘therapy’ to anyone who thinks it may be a practical help to them.

  421. Robert, I’ve never had contact with you but I guess that you will have met Ward Cunningham, the inventor of Wiki and one of the fathers of patterns and agile methods, who comes into my story in a big way from 1999. Though based in London I had the priviledge of visiting Ward in Portland for two days to chew over the future of wikis in the autumn of that year. That was the nearest I ever got to Seattle, where I assume you and Maryam still live. The admission that I do not know tells you that I am hardly a Scobleizer groupie. But I did notice you calling wikis ‘white hot’ late in 2006, around the time of the JotSpot sale to Google. That was hard for someone like me to miss.

    Ward of course is a big fan of the Head First series which Kathy helped to start. That’s another reason to mention him. But not the main one.

    Let me start by saying that I deeply appreciate the leadership you have shown the blogosphere and the net more widely by calling a halt to all other Scobleizer threads except this one, for a whole week. (And THAT surely is the point, most worthy readers, that this is all the man is concentrating on. So he’s doing exactly the opposite of being silent and giving in. He’s shining his much needed spotlight in exactly the right, dark place. He’s using his megaphone for the one key subject only, all week.)

    It was striking that when the BBC choose to link to this story on its front page two days ago the report in question linked just to Kathy and here. Well done indeed for using your A-list status in such an effective way. And muc respect to Kathy for her courage. (The repugnant tendency of those facing no threat to know better and feel braver than the rest of us is just one of the reminders that blog comments, based on limited or no true relationship, are not yet nirvana and surely never will be.)

    Since 1999 I’ve been very interested in two things: the power of wikis for social control and how to overcome the bigotry of net culture concerning the absolute right of any contributor anywhere to pseudonymity and anonymity with untraceability and thus (if desired) complete irresponsibility.

    The ‘social control’ is deliberately provocative. But Wikipedia, with all its flaws, has proved the point beyond doubt. There is enormous social control exercised in Wikipedia, by the small number of super-editors, leading to a fantastically useful resource for all of humanity (with all the past failings and future dangers of the massive, faux authority gained – until we can all check for certain who has written what).

    Anyhow, from 2000 onwards some people on Ward’s Wiki and its offshoots came to hate me. Or perhaps to oppose me for other, unknown reasons. By 2001 one of the most determinedly pseudonymous started to mention my imminent death with a regularity that bothered me. I decided to make that discomfort clear, publically.

    I loved Ward deeply. I still do. But I didn’t think that he or anyone else in the wiki world took this dispiriting episode as seriously as it required. That lack of support, as my reputation was roundly shredded by clever anonymous libel, as well as some unwise but well-respected wiki personalities, had very serious implications for me as an individual.

    But what was the great man to do? Wiki was at that time visited and edited by masses of people every day. Surely it was not reasonable to stop such a much-loved juggernaut, even for a few hours?

    As I’ve said already, maximum respect for the choice of Robert Scoble and his wife in this case.

    The deniable death threats on me (as I always called them) were far less nasty and explicit than the ones Kathy has suffered. But they help me understand just a little of the psychological challenges involved. (And there should be some just penalty for those who believe their most loving contribution at such a moment is, in effect, to publically debate the precise mental health of the innocent sufferer. My own situation degenerated to the point where anonymous assailants were having some success convincing real people, that I cared about, that I was now suffering from MPD. As others have said here, you don’t blame the victim. That is the starting point of all true compassion, as Robert and Maryam have demonstrated.)

    But here’s one more thing, out of left field (as I believe you say!) Many of my social circle had no idea what had befallen me on the net. I hardly bothered to explain to many. But one man I did tell, eighteen months ago. He knows little of technology. But the moment I spoke of an unknown individual who regularly mentioned my imminent death he said, with great force: “That is a curse.” He then prayed, with his wife, for that curse to be broken, in the name of Jesus. It was the most helpful few minutes I’ve experienced on the subject in six years. I recommend this form of ‘therapy’ to anyone who thinks it may be a practical help to them.

  422. Robert, I’ve never had contact with you but I guess that you will have met Ward Cunningham, the inventor of Wiki and one of the fathers of patterns and agile methods, who comes into my story in a big way from 1999. Though based in London I had the priviledge of visiting Ward in Portland for two days to chew over the future of wikis in the autumn of that year. That was the nearest I ever got to Seattle, where I assume you and Maryam still live. The admission that I do not know tells you that I am hardly a Scobleizer groupie. But I did notice you calling wikis ‘white hot’ late in 2006, around the time of the JotSpot sale to Google. That was hard for someone like me to miss.

    Ward of course is a big fan of the Head First series which Kathy helped to start. That’s another reason to mention him. But not the main one.

    Let me start by saying that I deeply appreciate the leadership you have shown the blogosphere and the net more widely by calling a halt to all other Scobleizer threads except this one, for a whole week. (And THAT surely is the point, most worthy readers, that this is all the man is concentrating on. So he’s doing exactly the opposite of being silent and giving in. He’s shining his much needed spotlight in exactly the right, dark place. He’s using his megaphone for the one key subject only, all week.)

    It was striking that when the BBC choose to link to this story on its front page two days ago the report in question linked just to Kathy and here. Well done indeed for using your A-list status in such an effective way. And muc respect to Kathy for her courage. (The repugnant tendency of those facing no threat to know better and feel braver than the rest of us is just on