Kathy Sierra Threatened

kinnon —  March 26, 2007 — 2 Comments

I am flabbergasted, angry and in shock. (This isn’t hyperbole.)

If you’ve read me for any length of time, you know I am a fan of Kathy Sierra and consider her to be the best example of the Generous Web.

This is what I’ve just read on Kathy’s blog:

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).

Her blog post continues with material that, as Kathy says, “includes disturbing language and a picture beyond anything I’d normally say here.”

What she has experienced is completely outrageous. In fact, it is criminal and those responsible need to be charged and tried. How dare these people inflict this mental anguish and fear upon anyone – let alone someone who generously spends hours writing blog posts and creating great graphics for the benefit of her readers.

Say a prayer for Kathy. And express your own outrage. This is like some bad Twilight Zone episode…but that was fiction. This is someone’s life.

UPDATE: Doc Searls weighs in on the discussion.
UPDATE 2: Doc weighs in further with an email from Alan Herrell – a blogger I’ve had good contact with and one who was named by Kathy as one of the “bad guys.” I was completely flabbergasted that Alan might be messed up in this in that it didn’t seem in character. Strong opinions, yes. Doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Yes. But that kind of perverse attack – I didn’t think so. I’ve been going to Alan’s blog (Raving Lunacy – which is down) every couple of hours in search of his take on this. Alan responds in an email on Doc’s blog – and it appears to be a case of identity theft. I’m more than inclined to give Alan the benefit of the doubt on this. And am truly sorry for his pain in the midst of this.

UPDATE 3: Read Dave Winer on this.

Technorati Tags: ,



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

2 responses to Kathy Sierra Threatened

  1. It is interesting one of the participants left a comment telling her she is not scared, she’s angry and then goes into a long explanation.

    The tech world meets social networking.

    Techs do amazing things, unfortunately working in mathematical and mechanical worlds people are in an environment predictably overloaded with juvenile locker room talk, over blown egos, dehumanization and a lack of social skills and boundaries that is not new.

    How dare he tell her what she feels.
    How dare anyone.
    This is no different than domestic violence where the male says…”but, I didn’t mean it.” The shattering of safety is such a fundamentally core thing, let’s hope law enforcement can give some of the perpetrators a clue.

    Intent is secondary to behavior that crosses boundaries, becomes criminal behavior and this needs to be very public. It is shocking and no amount of justification by perpetrators is going to change that. Nor should anyone involved get away with intellectualizing, rationalizing, minimizing or denial.

    While the police pursue this, she has done well to ensure her safety and she is to be commended for making this public, for not tolerating this behavior, for reporting it, and for calling it exactly what it is.

  2. Bene,
    Well said.

    There is no humour, critique or social commentary in threatening violence. It is a criminal act and needs to be treated as such.


What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.