Kathy Sierra, who blogs at Creating Passionate Users
, has canceled her appearance and presentations at the eTech conference after receiving death threats. She explains some of the threats she received in this post
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.
Kathy Sierra's post is currently the lead story
on Techmeme and has over 225 inbound links
according to Technorati. Some bloggers are talking about how anonymity
can allow bad thoughts to be published. Climb to the Stairs has a good roundup
of some of the blogs discussing the news.
Robert Scoble is also very concerned
about the threats and is taking the week off.
I'm physically ill after reading what happened to Kathy Sierra. Maryam and several others here at PodTech asked me about it and are concerned since the same sites that are attacking Kathy also mentioned me and Maryam. Maryam is really freaked out about it. So am I.
Scoble also writes about the snide comments that often appear in videos he posts that feature a female technologist.
It's this culture of attacking women that has especially got to stop. I really don't care if you attack me. I take those attacks in stride. But, whenever I post a video of a female technologist there invariably are snide remarks about body parts and other things that simply wouldn't happen if the interviewee were a man.
YouTube certainly has a lot of commments of that nature underneath some videos. Some of the blogs in the celebrity gossip category also contain numerous comments that would be considered demeaning toward women. Many of these are probably by people who are very young. These nasty comments are bad enough but it is another matter entirely when flame wars and insults escalate to the level of death threats. Hopefully, the people behind the threats will be dealt with and everyone can get back to blogging and feeling safe while they are doing it.