Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is Blogging Dangerous?

I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I've just read about the death threats against Kathy Sierra. Both of the co-authors of Naked Conversations, Shel Israel and Robert Scoble, have written about their reactions. Like them, the depth of depravity of those engaging in these kind of comments and threats makes me wonder about the future of the blogosphere.

I've had conversations with family and friends about privacy issues and blogging, about how "out there" one should be when blogging, about just how easy it is for someone with an axe to grind to ruin your day. We've talked about being careful with how much information to share, but I don't think we've ever talked about death threats appearing in comments on a blog. As Robert Scoble notes, unfortunately misogyny is a huge part of the nonsense that one occasionally reads on blogs. But death threats?

I'll be watching this situation with intense interest. Scoble is taking the week off in support of Kathy Sierra. Given his blogging output and readership, that absence will make a difference. But I'm more concerned about the self-censorship and "absence" of women like Kathy as they react to threats and hatred against women.

We should never tolerate hatred expressed in any public (or private) forum. It's incredibly important that we speak out and make sure that those who self-censor are those espousing hatred, not those afraid of hatred.

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