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Friday, March 30, 2007

Kathy Sierra's Life Threatened / Comment Spammers Beware - There Is No Such Thing As Total Anonymity

Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)
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. People like respected Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Chris Locke (aka Rageboy).

Cyberbullying - The Dark Side of Web 2.0
One of the things all this user-generated-content of blogs and personalized pages has opened up is the development of something called cyberbullying. This is the phenomenon of publishing negative comments about someone that go beyond criticism and into the world of threats. It is the playground bully writ large.

The web allows for a lot of anonymous communications, which is the first factor. When people can hide they often do things they otherwise couldn’t get away with. When you combine anonymity with the ease of publishing you get the cyberbullies coming out of the woodwork.

Cyberbullying on the Internet
The Internet provides the perfect forum for cyberbullies, individuals whose aim is to gain gratification from the distress caused by provoking and tormenting others. The anonymity, ease of provocation, and almost infinite source of targets means the Internet is full of predators from pedophiles targeting children to serial bullies targeting ... anybody.

Cyberbullies get a perverse sense of satisfaction (called gratification) from sending people flame mail and hate mail. Flame mail is an email whose contents are designed to inflame and enrage. Hate mail is hatred (including prejudice, racism, sexism etc) in an email.

Only "Pussies" beat-up on women either verbally,mentally or Physically...

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