Attacks in the blogosphere

One of my favourite bloggers, Kathy Sierra, whose blog called Creating Passionate Users has been receiving death threats some of which have very unpleasant sexual references. She felt so threatened that she cancelled a workshop and has decided not to blog for the moment.

There have been over 1,000 comments left in response to her post on this and, unbelievably, amongst these someone found another threatening message. The response to the threats has been huge. You can read responses from other bloggers at Hugh MacLeod’s blog who is horrified at what’s happened and says that’s why he has no problem deleting anonymous comments, particularly mean-spirited ones.

Robert Scoble comments in his blog that he and other bloggers have also been threatened, and is disgusted at the culture of attacking women. He wants to fix this culture and is looking for ways to do this. In the meantime, and in protest, he is not blogging for a week.

The blogs mentioned here are high profile blogs, and as such, the authors expect that they will receive negative comments on their blog or on other blogs. Some bloggers have a policy of not editing comments, others like Hugh MacLeod and Jeremy Pepper do.

Responses to the issue say that you have to expect you’ll be attacked and you need to be prepared to defend, but most acknowledge that what’s happened to Kathy Sierra has crossed the line.

Perhaps the most comprehensive response, is the one by Lisa Stone at Blogher . Lisa states the Blogher community guidelines leaving you in no doubt what is not acceptable. Comments to the post are also worthwhile reading.

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