My Internet is a Bully Free Zone

Originally uploaded by kpishdadi.

The places that I like to play on the Internet are friendly. A little competitive from time to time, but nothing nasty, no malice … and even when a difference of opinion arises we talk it out — comment on comment, thread on thread. But there is a whole other world out there that plays by other rules — where slander and mean-spirited vitriol reign and are encouraged.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a good parody as much as anyone. I don’t mind poking fun and being poked myself. But all within reason.

So when I read this post by Kathy Sierra I was shocked. Death threats? Promises of violence? Be warned, it is beyond distasteful. There are also links on Kathy’s post to those that are considered part of this horrible incident — if you want to find out, see Kathy’s article. I refuse to link to them — but I know many already do — they are A-listers after all. And it is our links that put them there.

Of course, the breadth and depth of our own Internet experience (the places we play, visit, read and link) is subject to our own choices. My Internet, in this respect at least, is a bully free zone.

I am not like some who simply exchange links. I am selective … very selective. BUT … if you have a post that I find interesting (or even provocative) then I may link to your post or site. And if there is more there for me to read and come back to, then you may end up on my blogroll. It is not much, but I do what I can.

In my view, the treatment of Kathy … indeed, the treatment of ANYONE, in this manner is unacceptable. It is a black day for the blogosphere … and the reputations of some have rightly been blackened along with it.

11 thoughts on “My Internet is a Bully Free Zone

  1. Gavin, thanks for writing about this. I’m almost beyond speechless after reading Kathy’s post. My fingers shake as I type this.
    As long as caring, creative, connected, enthusiastic, REAL communities band together against hate like this, I think Kathy (and all of us) will be OK.
    And I think everyone is now seeing that there is no such thing as “anonymous” anymore. The bloggers involved in this will be found out; looking at all the cyber-investigators offering their help in Kathy’s comment thread, it’s only a matter of time.

  2. I’ve just recently started following along and to read this…it is an outrage. It’s also one of the frightening things that has been in the back of my head for a while now, the use of the internet and now blogs, for very personal attacks against one’s own person. There’s no justification for something like this. Speedy wishes to the investigators in their hunt for those “people”.

  3. Yes, it’s disgusting, and what’s almost as disturbing are the bloggers who are saying that Kathy is just trying to get publicity by speaking publicly about her ordeal.
    In many ways, the anonymity the internet provides for bloggers is liberating–geographical and cultural boundaries are erased, and you find yourself connecting with people on a level that in-person acquaintances sometimes don’t even get to see. Anonymity can bring out the best in people. What’s scary is that it can also reveal the worst.
    My heart goes out to Kathy and Robert Scoble and his wife. It’s a shame that a few bullies who can type can silence some of the best writers in the blogosphere.

  4. My sense is that many of these bullies can’t write a decent blog worthy of reading. They’re jealous of people who can!
    We do need to support folks who suffer because of bullying and offer encouragement as you have done so well, Gavin.

  5. Gavin,
    I discover all this (only) now… just read Kathy’s post and browsed through the thousand comments. This is a shock, really. Unexpected and so… leaves me empty and wondering. Many questions bouncing. Not eough answers at this stage. Speachless.

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