Before today I had never heard of blogger and author Kathy Sierra was.
Then this morning I read this news story on the Beeb about a campaign of death threats against her appearing on the web. I’m not just talking about the odd bit of slagging-off, these are actual death threats. The whole concept of blogging and commenting has developed its own weird etiquette that has unfortunately given people the feeling that they are unaccountable for their actions and statements.
I know I’ve been rude about complete strangers in the past (apologies to Angelina Jolie’s agent, for one) whilst writing online - far ruder than if I were face-to-face with them. But these people threatening Sierra have clearly crossed a line, and should face some real legal consequences.
I worry that episodes like this will result in knee-jerk responses and censorship (that we’re still living in a post-Janet’s breast world of media sensitivity is utterly ludicrous in my opnion) that can only damage the democracy and freedoms of blogging.
Hang on in there Kathy - don’t let the bastards grind you down.