Death Threats against Bloggers Are NOT "Protected Speech" |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-04-09 21:49.
As I type this, I am supposed to be in San Diego, delivering a workshop at the ETech conference. But I'm not. I'm at home, with the doors locked, terrified. For the last four weeks, I've been getting death threat comments on this blog. But that's not what pushed me over the edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and sex posted on two other blogs... blogs authored and/or owned by a group that includes prominent bloggers. People you've probably heard of.
I do not want to be part of a culture--the Blogosphere--where this is considered acceptable. Where the price for being a blogger is kevlar-coated skin and daughters who are tough enough to not have their "widdy biddy sensibilities offended" when they see their own mother Photoshopped into nothing more than an objectified sexual orifice, possibly suffocated as part of some sexual fetish. (And of course all coming on the heels of more explicit threats).
This was posted by Kathy Sierra, whom her website describes as "interested in the brain and artificial intelligence since her days as a game developer (Virgin, Amblin', MGM). She is the co-creator of the bestselling Head First series (finalist for a Jolt Software Development award in 2003, and named to the Amazon Top Ten Editors Choice Computer Books for 2003 and 2004). She is also the founder of one of the largest community web sites in the world, javaranch.com."
This is one of a number of incidents in which the supposedly self-regulating nature of the Internet has been questioned. In response to the controversy around Sierra's experiences, Ross Mayfield writes:
This is a real test of the blogosphere. Our culture and openness.. . There are core issues at stake:
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