Blogging culture, which is often at least partially anonymous, is going overboard. Death threats have forced blogger Kathy Sierra to cancel speaking engagements and stay in her house.
I’ve also received death threats in the comments on this blog and TechCrunch, and people have said they will kill my dog. I’ve had a lot of parties at my house and my address is fairly easy to find, so these comments do make me sleep poorly sometimes. But for the most part I ignore them. As a man, I am far less likely statistically to be stalked or attacked than a woman. In some ways, I see it as a cost to doing business.
A lot of people we interact with daily seem very normal. But put them behind a keyboard and allow them to make anonymous comments and some really evil stuff can result. There’s no clear line as to what’s acceptable and not acceptable. But if you find yourself making anonymous attack comments that may be going overboard, ask yourself if you really want to be causing people the kind of pain that Kathy is going through. And then just stop.