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Cute Kitty - RageBoy®

There is often no way to know if a death threat is a real threat or one meant only to frighten. You can make judgments on the seriousness of the threat and you take precautions, but you can seldom satisfy all of your doubts. This is the world we live in. We own our words, we are responsible for our words, but we are not responsible for the words of others. Please read the links before you comment.

In The Beginning

The Allegations And A Response

Coordinated Statements on the Recent Events




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Comments

"Rageboy" doesn't look very boyish to me.

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oh poor woman, so terrifying. Let's ban the Internet.

I admit, I never followed this story. Good thing nothing happened, but like most things online, this was probably blown way out of proportion.

To me, this is just silly. If you aren't comfortable with the possibility of this kind of stuff happening, then you should not have a public blog or be using the internet at all.

OMG there are evil people who own personal computers!!!

She has a blog because she wants the attention. She is making a big deal out of this because she wants the attention.

This isn't a rhetorical question, but when is the last time anybody ever died over something said on a message board or blog?

Mark, i understand what your saying. but it's helpful to understand that these are real people using the internet. I find it shameful that punk kids feel they can post whatever they want in any way they want on sites like youtube and stuff. It's cowardly to talk trash on the internet when most of what people say they would never (or should never) say in real life. treat others as you would treat your self...even on the internet.

The story here is that the propaganda system is moving us away from freedom.

The danger is CNN, not the Internets and their pipes.

Is there no law to punish CNN for this irresponsible drivvle? Surely it is a simple thing (for law enforcement) to track down blog posters. (The FBI scoffs at this woman because she is under no likely threat.) CNN should know this -- and report it accurately -- or be stopped from polluting the minds of the ignorant.

there are other options, for instance not allowing anonymous posting on her blog, or recording the ip address of the person making the threats.

i dont think you guys should just be brushing it off the way you are. sure the vast majority of douchebags on the internet are just that but it's very possible that the poster could have intended to do her harm. and let's face it 'rageboy' does kinda look like your stereotypical stalker/killer.

next up on cnn: "the dark side of paper" about getting threats in a letter.

Dionysis, in answer to your question, I read of someone who committed suicide, while being egged on by others in a chat room.

Ah, found a link. Link to This is London article describing it. Article is less than 10 days old.

Jeff, the Golden Rule is shown to lose the game for you. What you need is the Tit-for-Tat rule.

How easy to be the ‘males’ here (Alex, Mark) and mimic Soledad “oooo, how terrifying’ Let’s shut off the Internets……she just wants the attention.

I’ve been reading Kathy Sierra’s blog for quite some time. It’s technical but written in a way I like and easily understand. I don’t find anything funny in what has transpired.

Therein lies part of the problem. The great anonymity of the Internet provides a safety net for addressing people in such a manner as one would not when confronted with them face-to-face.

Another point - a very valid point - is that because she is female the number of threats are heighten, driven by misogyny and the anonymity of the internet. Do you suppose Norm gets bullshit threats because he’s male as opposed to say, someone at Shakespeare’s Sister who is female? I doubt it. I read both blogs and am appalled at the shit that spews from people’s mouths (keyboards) because we don’t know who they really are.

So…..here we are, Mark has a blog and I decide I don’t like what he says… I leave the following: “Say, why don't I come over to your house, slit your throat, rape your wife, kill your kids AND your dog.” Now – just how funny is that? And how likely is it that I can actually find out who you really are and 'complete my task.' How likely is it that I’m just fucking around with words? How likely is it, eh? I find what I just said hilarious; don’t you?

Now – if it were me, I wouldn’t have put up with the bullshit. If the technical ways didn’t work, then I would be more proactive. But that’s just me. I mean back in 1976, I filed sexual harassment charges while in the military, when it WAS NOT done. I don’t back down nor do I find shit like this funny.

Kitt, I have no idea if what you wrote (2x) makes any sense because I can't get past the premise: There is no anonymity on the Internets. And it is a GOOD thing that fools imagine there to be, because it makes them that much easier to track down.

I said 'there is no anonymity on the Internets'?

Really? Where?

Ya mean this, mickleby? "Therein lies part of the problem. The great anonymity of the Internet provides a safety net for addressing people in such a manner as one would not when confronted with them face-to-face."

It's what some people think....they think there's this great anonymity on the Internet and they can say whatever they want without repercussion(s). They have no clue.

I said it. D'oh! You believe in mad anonymity. I think you are wrong.

Oh, so we agree? NSA knows all, sees all -- just like the Great Oz?

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Did I say it was funny?

Scoble gets shit on his blog almost daily - his response?

You don't like it? Go away.

Quite simple approach, I think.

Now, for the attacks and threats - well, it is not difficult to track back to the originating computer, yet it requires the co-operation of several businesses, which makes it difficult.

Imagine if Comcast was required to field calls such as "Yes, someone from IP 123.123.12.12 just posted a nasty on my blog..." etc, etc, etc.

Who is going to pay for all that? well, don't answer since I wasn't really here to start an entire off-topic discussion.

I didn't say you thought it was funny; I said, "I don't find this shit funny."

I said you mimicked Soledad - here: "oh poor woman, so terrifying. Let's ban the Internet." followed by some stupid admonition.

You just have no clue, do ya? Ya don't get it.

OK Kitt. I'm a little confused. I'm not laughing about it at all. The argument I tried to imply, albeit poorly, is that Kathy has no right to expect any sort of protection from any type verbal assaults over the internet (death threats or otherwise). That, I thought was common sense. These types of protections cannot be guaranteed by any law enforcement agency anywhere. Just think of the implications. Consider that I am currently posting this response from somewhere in Europe. What liability do I or anyone hold for any death threats contained within this post? If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad posts a death threat on her blog, does the FBI get involved so we can go and extradite the president of Iran to be tried for a misdemeanor in the American courts? I mean, seriously...

As Rage Boy noted, there is no way to enforce or police the internet in this way. What you apparently imply, is a fundamental change in the way the internet operates as a whole. This cannot and is not going to happen.

She has the option to completely disable blog comments or disallow anonymous postings if this stuff bothers her. That's all she can do. It's unfortunate, but those are the facts.

raubhi writes: "and let's face it 'rageboy' does kinda look like your stereotypical stalker/killer."

I wish I could disagree with that. Especially as I AM RageBoy. But oh man, it was hard to look at my ugly self in that clip. Much worse than hearing your recorded voice -- if you look like I do anyway.

Nonetheless, thanks for posting this, Norm. First time I'd seen it. And thanks for posting the context links at the top.

Okay...I see. I more agreeable with your second post, Mark.

If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad posts a death threat on her blog, does the FBI get involved so we can go and extradite the president of Iran to be tried for a misdemeanor in the American courts? I mean, seriously... Seriously - if it's the individual is known, then therein may lie the difference.

There are things I don't do in relation to the Internet simply because I don't expect nor necessarily want 'protection.' I'm not willing to "police" the Internet. I think and know there are technical ways/means to handle shit like this. I, being who I am, may have handled it differently.

That, however, is not my point. My point is simple: male vs female and the reaction of people to them on the Internet. I understand Kathy Sierra's concern because I'm a woman and experience is a harsh teacher.

Case in point. How do we know that the above poster is the real Chris Locke??? My sig says I am as well.

The worst part of all of this is this is something that many could argue, is distinctly american. We live in a predominantly mysogonystic society over here.

The whole blog thing is just the newest manifestation of it, so it's news.

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Threats on the internet are often not to be taken too serious, I myself have faced a few death threats in my life on the internet

The fact is, often these people don't know much about you, they don't know where to find you and they often only want to scare you Some people get a kick out of doing this to others, while some try to make the people selfcensur them...

To these people it may have seemed like a joke, but to this poor women she took it very seriously

This is exactly why I use a psuedonym, and why I will never reveal anything about myself that I wouldn't want the whole world to see- because once its up, they can.

I have shown many 18-24 year old MySpace users just how much information they have out there- information for potential employers, stalkers, and axe-wielding lunatics alike. They are always suprised at the many caches available, rendering their "I deleted that!' excuse totally moot.

However, this story really pushes me to weigh two of my values which conflict here: the freedom of speech and the right to privacy.

Part of me says: get over it. I get "trolled" on a daily basis, usually by a semi-literate 14 year old, and it doesn't phase me in the least. Then again, no one has ever taken the time to deface a picture of my mom and post it on the web. I think it is perfectly reasonable that Cute Kitty is freaking out about this.

But isn't that what these assholes were trying to do? To freak her out?

Hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to kill someone, why would I tell them first? Wouldn't that just make it harder for me to get away with it? I figure, anyone who wants to kill me isn't going to offer a warning first, and anyone who talks a good game about my brutal murder is probably some anti-social teenager sitting in their parents basement without a weapon, much less a car, to come find me.

Like grand-pappy used to say; "Stick and stones..."

First off I agree with Kitt 100% that these threats would not have happened if the blog was run by a guy. The fact is women tend to be more emotional and react more strongly to these kinds of comments and that's why guys tend to attack women more.

The fact is its not just blogs, but anywhere women are on the internet they are more of a target for harassment than men. This problem goes back to the Stone Age of course. But the only solution until society evolves to a point where these kind of social injustices are no longer common, women should think about putting up some kind of protection or tracking on their pages to prevent this sort of immaturity.

Oh, why give this notice, One Good Move? She's either a fame whore or a total scaredy cat. If she's a fame whore, she's probably rubbing her greedy mits. If she's a scaredy cat, she's probably huddled under the covers repeating, "I am a strong woman. I am a strong woman." This is the kind of intellectual coward that the Internet weeds out of its public discourse, so let's not hamstring it. I've been held at gunpoint and squawked less afterward. The irony is that this is the type of woman who, if she really were raped, would keep it top secret and not even mention it to the police. Oh, you know I am right. Was that too mean-spirited?

Give the Kathy Sierra poll a go (via flic)

Well... where to begin?

Focusing on the appearance of either party misses the essential fact that both were victimized by these events.

I think Kathy was legitimately concenred and it appears from other sources that she took steps with supporters to stop the images and clarify the intent of the authors involved.

Imply that Chris Locke "ran" the site is overreaching... he DID, as did Frank Paynter, delete all the content which in a sense seems to have escalated the sense of fear Kathy was experiencing after the authors moved to another site to extend the sick humor of the first site.

In retrospect it would have been nice to see this resolved without the headline news proving that free access to blogs is a threat to all women and children.

In so many ways the mistakes made by real psychotics on the internet will likely lead to increased detection and arrest... but we should be aware of the dangers of "false positives" due to miscommunication and vilification of innocent social critics... possibly "Not Safe for Work" social critics with somewhat warped views on what is funny and acceptable and what is not.

Even the dreaded "Joey" made clear attempts to exmplain himself on Kathy's blog and that he meant her no harm. He's just joining the chorus of crude anti-shiny frat boys. It ain't pretty but it probably wasn;'t intended to strike fear in the target... it was intended to make the usual audience laugh.

Humor is typically about exploring the borders of what is and is not socially acceptable.

Think of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin... they built careers out of delating self-righteous gatekeepers of public civility.

There are no villains in this story... but a sea of victims... with truth being the centerpiece of the demolished village.

I do hope we can find something positive from the mess... and CNN won't cover the positive result only the tragic aftermath if someone if indited and made to stand trial for this internet stalking. That would be the crime of lost reason for me.

You don't have to read ugly humor sites. You shouldn't read them if they offend you. But, try to understand that some people enjoy such trash talk and deflating the "sometimes" perfectly harmless but juicy targets of social discourse.

It would be nice for sensitive people to label themselves as such and request intervention before they suggest that they are surrounded by an evil network of stalkers.

But, being nice is the solution for most of us. Just be nice.

Like Howard Stern, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter... nice makes for big audiences and fat paychecks... nice wears fluffy bunny suits.

Nice won't work for all audiences. Some people like rudeness and crude imagery and ridiculing others. Can they have a corner to play? It was labeled pretty clearly, by the way.

The first high profile target of the mean kids was... wait for it... Frank Paynter. They pulled down his pants and put his undies on the flag poll and no one did much about it. Of course, most of us got the joke. We didn't all laugh but we saw the intent was NOT to strike fear into poor vulnerable Frank. (Frank probably wrote his own attack).

It didn't get much better and I didn't go back... but as we can see... it did get progressively worse and new targets we're selected and that was the mistake. Choose people with humor and the power to kick some ass when you talk smack about their ass. Duh.

Oh well... life continues right after this break.

Case in point. How do we know that the above poster is the real Chris Locke??? My sig says I am as well.

We don't know for sure that either of you is Chris Locke, but knowing Chris Locke's writing and noting that your comment came from a different ip address, we have some clues. I doubt Chris is in Amsterdam, right now. I'd bet a fair bit of change that the first was Chris and that you're an imposter. Just a note for those who use someone else's name on this blog I'll do my best to ban you and contact your ISP and complain.

I understand this comment was simply left to make a point. It just seemed an appropriate time to review that portion of the commenting policy.

Besides if I told the real Chris Locke the challange question was "yellow matter custard" he'd know the response, without prompting.

It's one thing to be verbally harassed via the internet, but we have to keep in mind here, they weren't just death threats. People were posting her social security number, her address, and various other information pertaining to Kathy. I believe that was specifically where the line was crossed. Photoshopped pictures are one thing, but once it gets to that point, it's something completely different. I don't think it was irrational of her to react that way.

Dionysis, in answer to your question, I read of someone who committed suicide, while being egged on by others in a chat room. Ah, found a link. Link to This is London article describing it. Article is less than 10 days old. - Susan Kitchens

Forgive me for not being very impressed, and I should have clarified by stating "somebody else". I don't think any law could be passed inhibiting online death threats using as reasoning the case of people egging on dipshits to throw themselves into volcanos.

If anybody has any evidence of message board and online harassment turning violent in real life, I'd like to hear about it. I don't deny the possibility at all though, any one of us wouldn't be all that impaired in tracking down some other commentator on this blog and offing them if they had the skill, idle time and pervasiveness. I just don't think it's happened yet, or if it has it hasn't been in great numbers. I certainly don't think telling someone to commit suicide is "bad" either, that's just stupid.

I'm interested to know if Norm has had similar experiences?

Everybody knows the answer to THAT challenge question, Norm.

SOme of this reminds me of the time seven or eight years ago when I referenced "Spaniard in the Works" and caught hell from a right-wing survivalist claque for being racist. Honest to pete, life is surreal.

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People were posting her social security number, her address, and various other information pertaining to Kathy.

Information which was already available on the Internet, if you know where to find it.

Nothing new there - no magic.

Yes, however most people don't make the effort to find out that information, and then post it places where there are people who would take advantage of that information. It's all about how the information is conveyed, and in this case it was abused.

First off I agree with Kitt 100% that these threats would not have happened if the blog was run by a guy.

Bullshit, I've received death threats via email here.

I don't know the answer to the challenge question...

The person who listed out Kathy's SSN and other information, did so after Kathy posted. In an online forum they said the reason why was because she was acting like a victim. If she was going to act like a victim, they were going to make her more of one.

If we women learn one thing from this is that we can't publicly display fear based on any type of online attack -- it just makes matters worse.

We could highlight crude humor sites, but chances are, most won't do a thing.

We can go to the police with actual threats. If we do, we certainly shouldn't talk about it online while it's being investigated.

Other than these acts, there's not much we can do.

We can secure our places, but we can't secure the Internet -- and we shouldn't try.

And, of course, we should always be careful what we expose about ourselves online.

Whatever we do, we can't make ourselves seem like a victim. It's harsh and unfair, but that's the Net.

Honest to pete, life is surreal.

and getting more so by the day. Dead Dog's Eye indeed. I would have also accepted goo goo g'joob

We can go to the police with actual threats. If we do, we certainly shouldn't talk about it online while it's being investigated.

That's the best advice I've seen on the topic. I agree with Shelley's other points as well. You can always count on the Bird to cut through the crap.

No one has addressed the fact that if you are going to accuse someone of making death threats (or being responsible for them), or any other crime, you yourself are responsible for making sure that you are accurate when reporting the circumstances. She wasn't. She created another victim.

I feel ambivalent about the accusations of her being an attention-whore, overly sensitive or hysterical. But I'm not ambivalent at all, about the fact that she made a huge mistake herself.

The unwashed masses of the Internet can easily be drummed up into a raging lynch-mob, and I've seen it happen accidentally -- as well as intentionally. The latter seems far worse, but it makes no damn difference to the poor fucker who lost her job over it or got burglarized because someone published his personal information in the firestorm (and yeah, I've seen that too).

She called for responsibility -- but showed none herself. I feel a lot of sympathy for the trauma she suffered, but a helluva lot less because of how she handled it.

//cynical mode engaged

Perhaps she was just too eager to embrace that most exalted status of victim and martyr, to take the time to write something better...

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"To me, this is just silly. If you aren't comfortable with the possibility of this kind of stuff happening, then you should not have a public blog or be using the internet at all."

This is really ridiculous. You shouldn't be using the internet unless you're prepared to recieve death threats?

People can talk about the free speech red herring all they want. So far I haven't read about anyone in this debate who wants to crack down and police the internet, even if that were possible. As often happens, "free speech" is a disguise for an attempt to validate or excuse despicable behavior.

"This is the kind of intellectual coward that the Internet weeds out of its public discourse, so let's not hamstring it."

You seem to be talking about Kathy Sierra, in which case you are an ass. "Cowardly" computer programming bloggers deserve to be weeded out if they'd rather not be subject to the most vile threats against their person, job, home, children, etc.? "Intellectual coward" is a lot more appropriate term for the sadists who'd rather play out torture fantasies by email than offer up a decent rebuttal. But alas, the internet is not "weeding out" this kind of person at all, as everyone can see. They're quite common, along with their enablers.

"I certainly don't think telling someone to commit suicide is "bad" either, that's just stupid."

With that, I think this has been the one of the most morally depraved threads I've read on OGM. ("bad" indeed)

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Pretty backgrounds shimmering on the bluescreen make it hard to concentrate on the nice-looking people with pleasant voices who are reading a simplified version of what happened to someone last week.

It would be faster, easier and less distracting to just read the Reader's Digest (TM) version.

Oops, forgot one thing: the lyncings I spoke of -- the accusations were false in both cases (as they were in this case).

"People can talk about the free speech red herring all they want." ... "As often happens, "free speech" is a disguise for an attempt to validate or excuse despicable behavior."
-- dende blogger

This indicates that you have a pretty poor understanding of the bill of rights -- specifically the first and ninth amendment. The latter limits your rights (in this case, your right to free speech, but also all other rights granted by the bill of rights -- as well as the constitution itself). It says that you may not exercise a right, if by doing so, you deny others their rights.

The classical case is that people have a right to not be trampled to death in a crowded theatre, so yelling "FIRE!" is an exception to your right to free speech. You also have a right to live without being fearful that someone will kill you -- hence death threats are another obvious exception.

You have no right to be protected from "despicable behavior" -- as long as it is legal, despicable behavior.

If you aren't willing to protect the right to free speech, of that which you disagree with the most, you simply haven't comprehended the principle at all.

Ohkay. I checked out the links. I got the gist of the story. Watched the video and had to shake my head - that seemed more to me a case of the media trying to make something all scintilating more than just reporting a story.

Which leads to the story.

I guess I missed something but it seems to me thic chick's a pansyass.

This is a threat:

I'm going to slit your throat and cum down your gob*

This:

I hope somebody else does it

is not a threat. It's under the category of opinion, or hope, if you will. Posting pics with somebody in a noose is not a threat. It's expressing an idea, granted, not a pleasant one. I've seen pics (doctored like those) of Bush taking it in the ass from Osama...and frankly, I'd LOVE to see that (not literally, that'd be creepy - but more figuratively cause it's poetic justice). But the image itself is not a threat. It's just funny.

This chick reminds me of several attention whores I've known, drama queens - somebody says a bad word, they skew it out of proportion and start hollering threat.

Now if somebody specifically said they intended to do these things to her, or were going to, or she better watch out, they're coming after her AND then happened to post her private info that's not found online, it would be a legitimate case somebody knows her offline and is threatening her.

Somebody reading her blog, not liking whatever she says and then posting something to the tune of they hope ugly harmful deadly things happen for her, that's not a threat. It's an expression.

I hope somebody behads Ann Coulter and tosses her ugly ignorant ass in a wood chipper.

That's not a threat. It's a hope. It's not a nice one, but it's not a threat. I would also love to run into her somewhere cause I'd really love to just bitchslap her one good time.

If Ann Coulter started hollering threat, it'd just make her an even bigger pansyass than she is. Why? Cause while the IDEA is appealing, she's not worth the time or effort to actually try to go do it. If somebody else did it, I'd laugh.

That's not a threat either.

It's a promise ;-p

I wish someone would threaten me, try to frighten me, then I can post about it, draw thousands of readers and comments, and appear on CNN (Completely Nonsensical Nutwork) for a few seconds with my hair hanging down.

I could be famous overnight!

We are seeing "blog-krulling" in action: posting sympathetic comments to a controversial thread, in order to drive traffic to your own blog.

Like flic is doing, and many others.

Someone needs to explain this to me. The reporter uses the word 'misogyny' (perhaps misogynistic) - How is this hatred of women and not just hatred of this individual?

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The butterfly wingstrokes of self-promotion induced a conga-line of cumulus schadenfreudismus mutualis which begat a BREAKING NEWS ice storm.

Perhaps CNN sold a few more ads?

And now this storm has dissipated - until the next butterfly flits by.

this reminds me of stories out of the Old South--my own grandfather, a clansman until the day he died (in 06), used to prankcall blacks and hispanics with threats, but if you had ever known the man, you wouldn't have made the mistake of ever thinking he didn't mean it. so, i think this is appalling, truly. and considering that i like to think of myself as a christian, norm and the usual crowd around here usually piss me off quite a bit, what what their "christians are sooo stooopid" attitude all of the time, but i wouldn't think of ever threatening the people here, ever. i wouldn't even want any harm to come to them, either: they provoke and rant, but i really think they are mostly good people--it's the so-called "conservative" voices on here that often bother me...so cold and unfeeling, many times.

and contrary to what someone else has said, i think that wishing someone's harm is as good as doing it yourself--christ said wishing someone's death makes you as good as a murderer, just like wishing you could commit adultery makes you an adulterer. heck, He also said HATING someone was as good as murdering them in your heart: the wisdom in that is that FOUL DEEDS begin somewhere, DEs, and they usually begin with the thought, "Don't ya wish someone would....?" i tend to think the hitlers and stalins are really only different in that they have the cojones to put their wishes into action.

This is all pretty amazing. I wasn't even going to read the comments because I figured everyone would be so in sync with how bad, over-the-top, inexcusable this is. Just when you think you know your fellow commenters...

My best friends have always been men, I mainly work with men, I have a lot of interests in common with men and this is just one of those times when I realize how differently we see things. You think this is the kind of attention she is after? You think she's a pansyass? You think she's lucked out now and gotten on CNN? You think this is what someone should expect when they write a technology blog?

As a liberal who actually identified myself as such on Yahoo boards before, during and after 9/11 and the slow climb back from being a complete pariah (to finding smart liberal blogs and people who called out how we were all being gaslighted), I assure you, people have trash talked me to death. That has included attacking me as a female but --- this is despicable and I'm amazed everyone wouldn't call it out as such. As a self-governing community where behavior is judged by a peer group, it sounds like you want the bar set at the garbage level.

Are we supposed to cater to the irrational fears of others?

Doesn't it seem obvious that these 'death threats' lacked the intent of a real death threat?

These 'threats' were posted on a public blog. The intent of the person(s) making the 'threat' was to express public animosity.

I think this would be obvious to most rational people when viewed within the context of the blog.

It seems, rather, that 'cute kitty' was more upset by the content of the speech than by the intentions of the speaker.

geoffreyb's comment is not the worst of those I've read here, but it is succinct, so I'll respond to it.

I think it is remarkable that geoffreyb (and many others) are willing to speculate that the comments of a scumbag are harmless (Doesn't it seem obvious that these 'death threats' lacked the intent of a real death threat?) and assume that the person who made the disgusting "threat" has not made a serious threat. On the other hand, geoffreyb speculates that the person who feels "threatened" is irrational.

What is the matter with you? Why do you give the asshole the benefit of the doubt while imputing base motives to the person who, prior to this unfortunate episode, committed the henious crime of writing a blog?

I don't advocate that "authorities" get all worked up over this episode, but I really can't understand the antipathy and sarcasm directed at 'cute kitty'. Surely you guys can find better targets for your venom than her - even if you do think she has overreacted it would seem more reasonable to give her a pass.

Mickleby, I agree, it is the propaganda system freaking everyone out. It is like when the Raelian cult claimed to have cloned a human baby. One goofy looking French lady rents a conference room in a Ramada in Hollywood, Florida, also birthplace of the dead Anna Nicole story, and she claims to have cloned a human baby, and the press goes wild. I smelled the BS from the beginning, but the way publicity works is that one interesting thing is not interesting enough for the press. Now, two interesting things intersecting with each other is interesting enough. Three issues crossing one another, and the press turns into a pack of slobbering, mindless dogs. In the Raelians' case, it was cults, UFOs, and clones. Then, when the press realized they had been duped with viral marketing, I had to listen to them try to save face with, "Well, there was no clone this time, but perhaps it is time for a serious national debate on the issue..." NO! IT IS NOT TIME FOR A SERIOUS NATIONAL DEBATE ON THE ISSUE! One chick in a cheesy hotel claiming a UFO cult cloned a human baby is not news, unless you mean for a checkout line newspaper. This blogger threat story is cleverly crafted to have several hotbutton topics crossing one another, like blogs, Internet predators, sexual harassment, and feminism. The awful thing is they consume and grow stronger from even my expressed contempt. They are happy as long as you spell their names right.

Well said, Tim and Heretic both.

Heretic, just for future reference, I would find your post easier to read if it was broken into multiple paragraphs. Sorry if I'm being nitpicky. ;)

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So, some creep threatens a woman in her blog comments, and the old media jumps all over the opportunity to play up a story about the Big Bad Internet. Sure, it sucks to be the woman in question, but this isn't a news story at all.

-jcr

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Theres a lot of comments, and a lot that could be addressed, so I'll just make some general comments.

  1. Anyone who simply identified these types of posts or threats as just a different sense of humour, and mentioned such comedians as Carlin is just way out there. Its always pathetic how many people think they're funny when really they're just not. Theres a reason we don't all have careers as pro comics. Just because its intended to be funny or that someone finds something funny doesn't mean it is, or that its appropriate. I have an insanely twisted sense of humour, and this whole story just was not funny, but sad.

  2. Its true that if every internet post had to be accompanied by an in-person meeting the net would be significantly cleaned up overnight. Yes, of course its technically possible you can track IPs and for the really determined you can find out where people live etc, but its not like just typing in "find sAlTyBaLls69 IP home address" in Google.

  3. CNN totally mishandled the story, and having her on the verge of tears in every shot didn't help anything but just instill fear in the uneducated viewer. You could just hear the gasps of parents after watching that because their teen is on the computer RIGHT NOW and the call is coming from inside the house.

  4. The internet, despite being in "2.0" now and in the mainstream for over a decade, is still ever growing, and culture is changing. From now on there will always be more pictures and info available about people that maybe we didn't intend, but we'll learn and adapt around it. Whether she is right or that she is overreacting, I think its good that she raised the question about what is crossing a line. Everything just plows ahead so fast that its good to occasionally recognize a problem and step back a second to ask how we should handle this going forward. Maybe there isn't any practical way to address it, but at least someone put their hand up.

Firstly, I don't 'speculate' that her fears are irrational. They are irrational.

Whether she actually fears for her life is a matter of speculation that I for one don't dooubt.

However, there are literally hundreds of thousands of similar comments and pictures of high-profile people which circulate the internet.

Google, "i hope someone kills you" and click on groups. Many are directed at a specific individual. Many are in a forum in which the recipient of the invective will see the comment. There are thousands of variations on this theme pushing the number of 'threats' into the tens of thousands. Is there a substantial reason to fear the intent of the commenter? I don't think so.

I don't believe that any version of 'I hope someone kills you,' warrants her reaction.

Nor do I see these comments and pictures as a direct threat. They are the work of an asshole.

To refer to this logical reaction as 'venom' and unfairly categorize me as hostile to the 'victim' distracts from my point: there is no good reason to live fearfully inside your house because of these comments.

If she were a friend I'd tell her to not worry about it. Nothing will come of it. The guy is an asshole. That's it.

Secondly, there's no need for CNN to shit sensationalism all over the story and cloud the minds of millions. This will NOT solve any pertinant problem.

Firstly, I don't 'speculate' that her fears are irrational. They are irrational.

Whether she actually fears for her life is a matter of speculation that I for one don't dooubt.

However, there are literally hundreds of thousands of similar comments and pictures of high-profile people which circulate the internet.

Google, "i hope someone kills you" and click on groups. Many are directed at a specific individual. Many are in a forum in which the recipient of the invective will see the comment. There are thousands of variations on this theme pushing the number of 'threats' into the tens of thousands. Is there a substantial reason to fear the intent of the commenter? I don't think so.

I don't believe that any version of 'I hope someone kills you,' warrants her reaction.

Nor do I see these comments and pictures as a direct threat. They are the work of an asshole.

To refer to this logical reaction as 'venom' and unfairly categorize me as hostile to the 'victim' distracts from my point: there is no good reason to live fearfully inside your house because of these comments.

If she were a friend I'd tell her to not worry about it. Nothing will come of it. The guy is an asshole. That's it.

Secondly, there's no need for CNN to shit sensationalism all over the story and cloud the minds of millions. This will NOT solve any pertinant problem.

Is that Vaspers the Grate, as in cheese grater?

I saw that you voted, though. Thanks.

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A couple of points about anonymity on the web, Norm.

First of all, as the IP address of this post demonstrates, you can't always tell where someone is posting from.

Secondly, perhaps you haven't noticed but you are the only one who can see the IP addresses. Therefore, if threats are made on a 3rd party site unwilling to reveal the user's IP address, you're out of luck. This point is fairly moot since point 1 is valid. As long as there are anonymization services, such as the onion router or secureix, anonymity is possible.

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Geoffreyb, just because you can find lots of "i hope someone kills you" statements on the web doesn't make Kathy's fears irrational. (By the way, legally speaking that statement is just as much a threat as saying you'll do it yoursef.) It just demonstrates how widespread this problem is.

The bigger issue is (as is so clearly illustrated in the comments here) that this kind of attitude is deemed acceptable. I think it's rather humorous that the people accused of supporting or encouraging these threatening comments somehow think it's wrong when people turn against them. ("All I did was call her 'bitch'! Don't be mean to me!")

Some people think it's hypocrisy, but that's nonsense. People like Kathy write informative blogs, and commit no crime other than to be female and bright. When people use public forums choose to defame and harass someone like this, or support those that do, they deserve any moral indignation (short of threats) they receive.

Technically proficient and experienced blogger is shocked into making perfunctory accusations about fellow bloggers by base and crude blog posts and publicly made death threats.

Sorry… I don't buy it.

Like most, if not everybody commenting here, I certainly do not know the truth of the matter… but… something just doesn't quite jive. I'll refrain from speculating because mickeby's link to Ronni's opinion really does seem to say it all, at least for me.

As long as there are anonymization services, such as the onion router or secureix, anonymity is possible.

We don't really disagree, the battle between anonymity and owning one's words is an ongoing battle. I think most of the anonymous proxies are blocked from commenting here. I haven't checked so I don't know how effective it is, then of course it only takes missing one to change the equation.

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whoa, what a weird thread. i'm not in general offended by words like "chick" or even "whore", but i smelled a definite whiff of misogyny in some of the responses here, not to mention the story that inspired them.

what i don't understand is, what makes the internet part of the issue? why is an internet death threat any different than a death threat by post, telegram, telephone, etc?

yes, i agree that anyone staking out a public forum of their own, whether in a newspaper, magazine, tv show or blog, should be prepared for this kind of reaction from the unwashed masses (a soapbox is an inherently dangerous place), but this doesn't make it any less frightening when it does happen. and i think anyone incapable of feeling pity for this poor woman, no matter how stupid or naive she may be, should have their head examined.

I don't 'speculate' that her fears are irrational.

Of course you are speculating. Probably correctly, but it is still speculation.

Whether she actually fears for her life is a matter of speculation

You're right, and it also speculation on your part to assume the the asshole is no real threat. But as I said, among the possible actions the asshole might intend to undertake (that neither you nor I know), you chose to assume that the asshole is just an asshole - not a violent asshole. Furthermore, you did speculate that 'cute kitty' is insincere in stating that she afraid of being killed by the asshole ("It seems, rather, that 'cute kitty' was more upset by the content of the speech than by the intentions of the speaker.")

...that I for one don't dooubt.
A contradiction of your earlier post.

It is quite clear, from among the possible speculations you could have offered as to the intentions of the asshole and the motivations of the harrassed blogger, you chose the most benign interpretation for the asshole, and a negative interpretation for the blogger.

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Let me reiterate that it is not 'speculation' to regard her fear as irrational. It is my belief that this is a fact.

As for the assertion that 'I hope someone kills you' is legally defined the same as 'I will kill you', let me provide the legal definition of a threat:

"A communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another or on another's property, especially one that might diminish a person's freedom to act voluntarily or with lawful consent."

The important word is 'intent'. I find no stated intent in the comments. Many of the comments that were most offensive to Kathy were on another blog. This third-party location for the comments also indicates that the comments were not sufficiently 'communicated' to be a threat.

Let's at least agree that no law was broken. This was protected speech.

Someone asked before but does anyone know of a case similar to this in which the online threat resulted in actual violence? I believe that these types of comments rarely, if ever, result in violence.

norm, how does this rank with other highly commented on OGM articles within the same time-frame?

Just curious…

Very disappointing thread for OMG. I thought that this blog was all about rationality (and it usually is). I think politeness is part of rationality, I really do. And death threats are not only impolite but despicable and not at all an inevitable part of the internet experience. Doesn't matter if Norm or any other blogger receives death threats as well. That doesn't change the fact that they're simply not okay. Period.

"Attention whore"? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

norm, how does this rank with other highly commented on OGM articles within the same time-frame?

Probably in the top three.

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Let me reiterate that it is not 'speculation' to regard her fear as irrational. It is my belief that this is a fact.

Beliefs don't equal facts. A fact is a bit of verifiable information that is demonstrably beyond question. A belief is an opinion - a speculation. You can no more "prove" that her fear is irrational than I can prove it isn't. Stating it repeatedly doesn't make it so.

As for the assertion that 'I hope someone kills you' is legally defined the same as 'I will kill you', let me provide the legal definition of a threat: "A communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another or on another's property, especially one that might diminish a person's freedom to act voluntarily or with lawful consent."

Try this - send the President a letter that says "I think someone should kill you" and see how far that argument gets you with the Secret Service.

Stating that you believe this harm should happen (or encouraging others to do so) has been legally found to constitute a threat. The Nuremburg website that listed the names of doctors who should be killed for performing abortions was found to have threatened those doctors. (See http://cse.stanford.edu/classes/cs201/projects/nuremberg-files/background.html ).

Stating, in graphic terms, how somebody should be killed and raped (in that order) is as much a threat as saying you'll do it yourself, morally, ethically, and legally.

Let's at least agree that no law was broken. This was protected speech.

Balderdash. (See above.)

Someone asked before but does anyone know of a case similar to this in which the online threat resulted in actual violence? I believe that these types of comments rarely, if ever, result in violence.

How many would it take to make the fear "rational"? One in a million? One in a thousand? One in a hundred? How comforting is it to tell someone that "It probably isn't real"?

My awareness of this kind of issue was really enhanced some years ago at a party. Everyone there was in their mid-twenties, and there were nine or ten women. We somehow got onto the topic of assualts against women, and when the question was asked "How many of you have ever been assaulted or attacked?", three fourths of the women raised their hands. As each one told their story of attacks and attempted rapes, I became keenly aware that what life for women can be like is one that men don't really grasp.

As one woman put it in another setting, "Until a man walking down the street has to look with fear at every woman they encounter as a possible attacker, they won't get it."

I held out hope someone might have better descriptive skills than I because I'm so disgusted and disappointed in many of the comments.

However, Rational Center directly above came closest to something I wanted to express as well.

As one woman put it in another setting, "Until a man walking down the street has to look with fear at every woman they encounter as a possible attacker, they won't get it." And, they didn't.

Okay, I will try to paragraph better.

Well, the word "attention whore" just seemed to fit better than any other I could come up with, but perhaps I should expand. I have a blog personally, and I will cop to being a bit of an attention whore myself, but I never did anything so smarmy as to go running to CNN for what? Because someone threatened me on an Internet forum for crying out loud? It is not that threats against women should be condoned or whatever. It's the fact that this stuff just goes with the territory as a blogger. Did she seriously expect as a high-profile blogger to never get threatened on Internet fora? scoff This is one of those can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen situations. Would you feel sorry for a man who had been threatened on the Internet (double standard)?

I also love that last quote that "Until a man walking down the street has to look with fear at every woman they encounter as a possible attacker, they won't get it."

Let's see how it sounds if we switch the groups out.

"Until a black person walking down the street has to look with fear at every white person they encounter as a possible attacker, they won't get it."

How does that sound? The answer is, ding: Bigotted. --- No no no. Shush-sush-sush. Bigotted. Really bigotted.

Let me offer a variant to the quote. "Until reasonable, well-meaning feminists have to deal with the frivolous accusations, hysterical demonizations, and calculated lies of some of their sisters, they won't get it." By "it," I mean why many of us are fed up with the Oprah mentality.

I once sat there and listened to Oprah argue with some male psychologist (why does she always have some white, male guru type guy?) who was saying she had to face her anger for her abuser before she forgave him, and she said, no, I am not angry. I forgive him. Then she told the story about how she had gone home, well after adulthood, fame, and fortune, and found herself frying eggs for the guy who raped her as a kid. Perhaps she was trying to get back at him by giving him high cholesterol. And she seems to be the role model for like 90% of American women.

I am not saying she is an idiot for being abused as a child. I am saying she is an idiot for as a role model making breakfast for him instead of calling the police so he couldn't do it again to any of her sisters.

Believe me, I understand how rape destroys people's lives because I have been through rape crises with several different women. Maybe I am just a little bitter, though, that I have never known a woman to report a real rape to the authorities. Not once, even with encouragement and support, even the college-educated ones who constantly have to remind the world of what strong women they are, have I known a woman to report a real rape. This goes with the realization on my part that these women whom I thought I knew just don't care enough about other women or even children to try to do something to stop the rapist. Well, they say, they are scared, and the police might not take them seriously, and a rape kit would be dehumanizing, so why even try to prevent this from happening to many many other women?

On the other hand, I have known several women who have reported fictional rapes to the authorities, in one case for nothing more than attention, and even when it came out that she dragged some poor guy (No, not me) to court to defend his freedom, she still got a truckload of sympathy from her feminist friends in the English Department because she had a rough childhood or some nonsense. What awful people to side with a woman who frivolously tried to take a person's freedom away. The hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy just boggles.

Perhaps the hypocrisy readings are not so off-the-scale with the blogger in question and her supporters, but they are nearing the red line.

So, what I want to know is where is your indignation when someone uses this serious topic of threats of violence and rape to get more hits on her blog?

No no no. It's not legitimate to make a big stink about getting threatened on an Internet forum. Get real. It might, however, be grounds for calling the police if the threat is clear and present. Hmm. I wonder if she ever really did get around to calling the police, or whether she or her publicist just called CNN with a storyboard for that puppet show of her meeting the blogger whose site hosted the forum on which the offending comments were posted.

We can prove that some fears are irrational. The fear of flying is irrational. The fear of open spaces is irrational. The list is long. It includes Kathy's fear that she is in imminent danger from a dipshit internet user(s).

Please don't insinuate that I'm being misogynistic. This has nothing to do with Kathy being a woman. I never said it did. It has everything to do with reason.

But, if we must bring the issue up, is it reasonable that every woman view every man they see as a potential attacker?

As for this particular situation...

Someone address the issue of intent in their reply. Or address the fact that most of the comments were not directed to Kathy.

Aren't these important points?

"Until a man walking down the street has to look with fear at every woman they encounter as a possible attacker, they won't get it."

Truly disgusting. If that’s how you view the world, then I’m very sorry for you. It certainly explains a lot. Heretic did an excellent job with a rebuttal to this drivel. Does anyone here honestly applaud this kind of prejudice and double standard?

I'm further offended by the insinuation that the person who made these threats to Kathy was a male. There is no proof of that.

Should every woman who has ever been threatened over the internet get a spot on CNN now? What about every man? Norm admits that he has received death threats for running OGM. Why wasn’t he the one on that segment?

People are calling her an “attention whore” because it is evident that appearing on CNN will in no way make her safer. This course of action does nothing but provide her with publicity and “attention”. Why is it somehow misogynous to call her out on this obvious discrepancy?

This issue is not about sexism at all. Kathy could have just as easily been a man. Yet, some people on this board seem to have chosen to focus on gender issues rather than on CNN’s alarmist and provocative reporting and a complete misrepresentation of the problem at hand.

It should be clear to all, that no one who posts a blog can be safe from death threats. No one. There is no effective way to track anonymous comments. Laws against these types of crimes are nearly unenforceable. Until there is a fundamental change in the way the internet operates (which will not happen), anyone who chooses to use the web, makes themselves vulnerable to harassment and evil from nearly any and every corner of the globe. This must be understood and this is not what CNN chose to explain.

Heretic: Maybe I am just a little bitter, though, that I have never known a woman to report a real rape to the authorities. Not once, even with encouragement and support, even the college-educated ones who constantly have to remind the world of what strong women they are, have I known a woman to report a real rape.

What's the relevance of this? Do you imply that rape doesn't exist? Isn't it possible for you to get over your anecdotal experiences judging this case here? So you met some, what you call, "attention whores" yourself. Big deal. Why does that mean that this women is one, as well?

The facts are that she got ugly threats, mortal and sexual. That she even got her postal address published by some asshole. Everything else - her "attention whoring" - is just your opinion. Your fantasy. Your own little experiences.

Thanks to kitt,Dende Blogger, Tim, Rational Center, jonathan becker, Jillbryant, serotonin and French Fries. Without your comments, this would have been a 100% depressing thread to read.

She's a blogger, a public figure, and the sites where the threats were posted sympathetically removed the threats when they became aware of them. End of story.

No, wait. It's not the end of the story. Now CNN magically appears to stage a meeting with the person who posted the threats.

No, wait. They can't find the guilty party. Let's drag in the innocent guy upon whose site the comments were posted anonymously and have him declare that he has no ill will for her even though he had already done so already by removing the threats when he found out about them. But we'll stand him up and make him recite the recant anyway.

This is the brand of PC that mints Republicans by the million. Just the very fact that someone could read my post and then ask me if I was implying that rape doesn't exist is such typical proof that certain buzzwords make a huge group of witch hunters like frenchfries at least temporarily insane. In this case, Kathy Sierra named names of people she thought might have been responsible for photoshopping a demeaning picture, but nobody seems to be upset with this, only that she was demeaned. Obviously, demeaning other bloggers by tarring them with the misogynistic perverted Internet psycho brush is okay by Sierra, as long as it is not her.

My reason for bringing up all this anecdotal stuff is that I find this incident typical of a really weird PC ideology.

Hope against hope, I will try to dumb my point down even further to get it past the froth trigger.

No like threaten woman

No like rape.

No like hypocritical PC propaganda witch hunt neither.

Truly disgusting. If that’s how you view the world, then I’m very sorry for you. It certainly explains a lot. Heretic did an excellent job with a rebuttal to this drivel. Does anyone here honestly applaud this kind of prejudice and double standard?

That's not how I particularly see the world. It does mean I'm 'on guard' - I think most women are. It does not mean you walk around paranoid. You're aware f what's happening around you.

I'm further offended by the insinuation that the person who made these threats to Kathy was a male. There is no proof of that.

You're further offended.... give me a fucking break! I'm not the only one with the assumption. What's the track record for the male populace regarding violence against women, threats against women, etc. Thus, the assumptions I would imagine. No woman I know, myself included, makes threats to anyone on or off the internet. No need. We just shoot 'em.

Heretic's rebuttal may have been brilliant in your estimation, but your estimation isn't mine and that's all that counts with me.

There's some silly bullshit in there - oh here: "Maybe I am just a little bitter, though, that I have never known a woman to report a real rape to the authorities. Not once, even with encouragement and support, even the college-educated ones who constantly have to remind the world of what strong women they are, have I known a woman to report a real rape."

"A real rape." Does that fall under the same category of the "truly needy."

Ah - well, I'll remember that the next time a woman comes in or is brought in to our ER having been raped. Women do report it.

And anything to brighten Joann's thread reads.

Kitt = Ann Coulter?

"Heretic's rebuttal may have been brilliant in your estimation, but your estimation isn't mine and that's all that counts with me."

With lines such as "We just shoot 'em." the subsequent reply was far from rational and that's all that counts with me.

I'm really amazed that Kitt and others continue to argue a battle that was never instigated in the first place. I don’t think anyone here is saying that what those jerks did to Kathy was anything but cruel, immoral and abhorrent. I believe I've used the word "evil" at least twice now. I’m certainly not saying that she somehow “deserved” this or “brought it upon herself.”

Some of us are rather disillusioned to see Kathy so seemingly content to play the victim in this situation. She took the route of bringing more attention to herself and the problem. In doing so she may have multiplied the number of people out there willing to mess with her. Her and CNN’s reaction: astonishment that such a thing could happen, is what bothers me and what sparked my first sarcastic comment here. If you want the fame and attention that comes with having a well followed blog, you must be aware of and accept the risks that go along with it. I am concerned that so many others are still ignorant to the potential dangers out there.

As someone with an information technology background, I am simply saying that it is naïve for anyone to believe that they are somehow immune from these kinds of attacks. If you have an e-mail address, a blog account, an instant messenger screen name, etc… these are vulnerable to assaults from all sorts of assholes from all over the world who get a sick amusement from harassing people. It certainly comes with the territory of being a “public” figure on the internet but is not limited only to them. I have been threatened in a chat room. A female friend of mine has been harassed over IM and e-mail (by another female no less). Yes, it happens, despite claims to the contrary. This stuff is commonplace.

If some of you choose to only see this as a gender issue, so be it. I doubt this video was posted with the intent to receive nothing but comments of pity and despair for Kathy. I was hoping to maybe get an answer to some of the more relevant questions raised by this report. This is not about free speech. Death threats are not protected speech in the US. They are unfortunately, often protected by “proxy” over the internet. To me, the relevant matter is the impossible task of policing hatred, bigotry, and harassment online.

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Mike, it is not a question of policing hatred, bigotry and harassment. It's a question of social norms. I doubt anyone that has participated in almost any public online discussion would tolerate me using terms such as nigger, kike, or wop. Few would be concerned if my comments were deleted for doing so. Yet somehow it is ok to call Kathy an "attention whore." (And I'm sure that someone here will say "I would use that term for a guy!" Tell me, would the term "attention nigger" be ok if I used it against somebody white?)

Go to the digg.com website sometime and read the comments that develop around an article that somehow involve a woman. Do a "find" with your browser and see how many times the term bitch appears. You'll find similar result almost anywhere you go.

Kathy never said she didn't expect to receive this kind of crap in her comments and in emails. What disturbed her was that other websites created forums that seemed to exist specifically to provide a place for this crap to be encouraged and showcased. It begins to feed on itself, with each person upping the ante. The level of online bile was escalating, and that escalation was being abetted (perhaps inadvertently, it turns out) by people who should know better.

I'm not looking for legal intervention, I'm hoping that, as an online community, we make hateful, threatening behavior unnacceptable. I refuse to believe that we have to let the most vulgar, vile voices in the conversation define the nature of the discourse.

And don't give me grief about "oh, we all have to be PC!" Being civil is a normal, rational behavior. Being part of a community means investing a little mental and emotional discipline to spend time actually thinking about how you communicate and it's impact on other people. I'm tired of obnoxious, ugly conversation being held up as some sort of heroic honesty. It's the online equivalent of peeing in the public square. It stinks.

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One last thing. Mark wrote:

Truly disgusting. If that’s how you view the world, then I’m very sorry for you. It certainly explains a lot. Heretic did an excellent job with a rebuttal to this drivel. Does anyone here honestly applaud this kind of prejudice and double standard?

How was what I said statement of prejudice or double standard? What I said was that men can't easily understand what life is like for women; women are far more likely to be victims of attack and rape than men are. It is common enough that a lone women walking down the street has to view every man with caution.

Many men can't seem to grasp that concept, and it makes them less able to understand why women feel they need to treat threats seriously.

I'm a man, and I understand this. It's a simple, plain reality. Until more men grasp this, we'll continue to the kind of clueless "women attack women, too" non-sequitors in conversations such as this one, so clearly demonstrated in Heretic's comments.

Mike, it is not a question of policing hatred, bigotry and harassment. It's a question of social norms.

Exactly. And it's a problem for anyone who runs an online forum. I run a reasonably busy set of forums associated with a group blog site, and through good luck and good management we've made it a place where women feel comfortable coming in and posting. That's rarer than it might seem. You don't have to look far in the blogosphere to find latent misogyny getting overt. And what you lose from women not feeling comfortable participating ought to be pretty fucking obvious.

What Kathy Sierra faced here was a situation that was not only unpleasant but escalating. How far does it have to go beyond creepy people making sexual hate pictures before it's "rational" for a well-known woman to be scared, FFS?

Yes, some people might have just cowboyed up and carried on. Whatever. What happened was corrosive.

I've met Kathy Sierra a couple of times, and seen one of her great presentations. She strikes me as someone who likes to be in control of the situation (which she certainly is on stage). I imagine being so far from in control here would be pretty traumatic for her.

Let's not (and this means you, Mr "attention whore") forget who's soiling the nest here.

Rational Center: I will try to explain this to you by altering your post slightly and posting it below inside quotation marks:

"How was what I said statement of prejudice or double standard? What I said was that black men can't easily understand what life is like for white women; white women are far more likely to be victims of attack and rape by black men than black men are. It is common enough that a lone white woman walking down the street has to view every black man with caution.

Many black men can't seem to grasp that concept, and it makes them less able to understand why women feel they need to treat threats seriously."

See, I am not responsible for what some rapist did any more than an innocent black person is responsible for a crime some other black person committed. If a woman views me as a threat, it is her problem, not mine. See? And it is not RageBoy's problem, either.

Kitt: I am still not sure what to make of your post"

[quote] No woman I know, myself included, makes threats to anyone on or off the internet. No need. We just shoot 'em.[/quote]

Threatening=Bad Shooting=Okay

???

Now, see, if I were a hysterical attention whore, I might construe that as a threat myself. Stop me if I'm wrong, but you're basically saying "That's not a threat; it's a promise." Of course, in certain situations, I might be ready to applaud your strength of character, for instance in the case of self-defense, but from looking at your posts, though, it seems you might be the type to start shooting those you imagine to be chauvinistic oppressors. Granted, people don't often take such threats from women seriously because of bias. In my case, I don't take it seriously precisely because you are an Internet goon talking smack on an Internet forum, so you may thank me for not calling CNN.

For the record, I have on occasion tried to talk women into getting guns. I even traded a gun to a woman in exchange for her Posturepedic mattress one time. I think it's a great idea for women to protect themselves, which is a testament to my coolness, because if you have ever looked down the barrel of a gun wielded by an insane woman like I have, you know, the person's sex no longer matters anymore. (I know you are jumping to conclusions here, but my ex-wife always had abusive meltdowns when she got back from visiting her family. It kind of sucks that she would point the gun that I bought for her at me though, but I guess I should forget it because I deserved it for oppressing her by putting her through a patriarchal, male-dominated university. She later left me for a pilot twice her age and used the gun on herself a couple of years later. Moral: Women can have dangerous demons, too, and until you uderstand that, you won't get it.)

It is also not my problem if you don't believe I have never known a woman to report a rape to the authorities. I haven't. On one occasion, I knew a woman who told the police. It was supposed to have happened in a hotel room right on the Interstate. However, she remembered it just fine but could not remember the name of the hotel. When I said, "Well, let's drive down there and get the name, and the cops can get the guy's identity from the credit card record," she said she wouldn't recognize it and she wouldn't go and the story started to lose cohesion, so I don't include her.

You see, this all has to do with your point of view. A trauma nurse who deals with women who have really been raped are only going to be dealing with women who report it. On the other hand, the women I know who have really been raped simply refuse to report it. I have never known a woman who has reported a rape, and I have known many women who have been raped. This is not my fault. I am just the messenger. Don't shoot me. I have also known women who have invented rapes that never happened. One woman, the wife of a close friend, claimed that a bike gang had invaded her house in Upstate NY while the husband was out of town. It turned out she was really upset because she couldn't figure out how to get rid of a house guest she had invited and wanted her husband to come home and get rid of her. Her poor husband was crying, and messing up his fists on brick walls while waiting for his short-notice flight to get back home and be with his wife. Over the next week, the details of the story became more and more problematic, and she eventually admitted she made the whole thing up. Now, we totally believed her, and we were in a pretty dark place for a while. Then all the mixed emotions of relief to find it is a hoax and anger at being betrayed come up, and ultimately when you have had your head screwed with like that for nothing, it messes with your attitude about crying wolf. I am sorry for this anecdote, but I can't make this stuff up. This stuff really happened and happens. So, I am hoping, probably with no reason, that you might understand why I might be angry at people who cry wolf and use this kind of thing for undeserved attention like it is some kind of game, in our case a cultural media game.

Mark: You said, "I'm really amazed that Kitt and others continue to argue a battle that was never instigated in the first place." Yes, it is bloody amazing. The attitude is, "I hate Daddy... but he's not here right now, so you'll have to do."

to: Heretic, Mark, Alex Grogen, DEs, vaspers the grate, Jotham, geoffreyb, Dzwonka and Frenetic.

You are all chouvinist pigs. You make me sick. How dare you call the Cute Kitty a whore??? You are cowardly men with small penises who obviously hate women. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Kitt is right. People like you should be shot for saying things like that. You are the reason rapes happen.

Thanks Kit & Rational Center for bringing out their true colors. This just shows how we really do need to watch ourselves when we walk down the street.

Girl Power!!!

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