:Ben Metcalfe Blog

Condemning the abusive threats made towards Kathy Sierra

I just wanted to add to strong feeling in the blogosphere in condemning the awful threats that have been made towards Kathy Sierra.

Blogging has been kinda slow here recently, this time the ‘excuse’ is the contract work at Orange is zapping all my time. It’s a good project but billing on an hourly rate doesn’t really allow me to blog freely during the working day. At the moment when I get home after traveling, my evenings have been cook -> spend time with Sofia -> sleep.

However I wanted to take a minute out before the day begins to agree with the observation that a nasty streak of anonymous personal abuse – especially towards women – has become systemic in the blogosphere. And must be stopped. We all need to pull together to call bullshit on those who are doing it and those who are supporting it.

Creating ‘mean’ sites in the name of ‘art’ is bollocks and those of us aware of such sites (and persons behind such sites) should do what we can to put them to an end – either via our private channels or publicly if necessary.

Being critical vs being vindictive

Now, I myself have been known for making one or two harsh remarks in the past – under my social nickname of dotBen. I want to make it clear that the ability to point fair criticism towards others – criticism that does not form a personal attack – is an important tool + right we all have. But it’s a responsibility bestowed upon us that we must use carefully and thoughtfully.

In the light of what has happened to Kathy we shouldn’t take an equally wrong leap backwards and loose the blogosphere’s amazing ability to hold people to account and call bullshit on what is wrong.

But I hope most normal, sane, people know that bloodening people’s heads in photoshop or threatening to decapitate them and ejaculate down their throat is not ‘fair criticism’ or ‘holding people to account’.

It’s disgusting, mean and sick.

I also want to send my best wishes to Robert and his wife Maryam who have also received threats from the same source. Robert is going to be taking a week off from blogging.