Kathy Sierra Getting Death Threats, Internet Reaches New Low

Go read Kathy Sierra’s latest post at Creating Passionate Users, then come back. It’s important.

That post made me feel sick to my stomach. It makes me both sad and angry when people use the shield of anonymity on the internet to do crap like make death threats and other cretinous behavior. It makes me wish that we could, collectively, inflict “good” effects on the world as easily as people like that can inflict “bad” ones, through words, as if by magic.

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This has been all over the Twittersphere, and I’ve included lots of posts on the topic in my linkblog, to raise awareness of the problem. I first heard about it from Stephanie Booth on Twitter, followed shortly by TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington. I started twittering about it, and now, at least, it seems to have become the story of the day. Robert Scoble is going to abstain from blogging for a week in “protest”. He’s one of the most transparent bloggers on the net, making details like his cell phone number, (rough) place of residence, etc. available for the world to see on his blog. Being as high profile as he is, he also gets his share of trolls and comments attacking him and his family.

My cell phone number is posted on my blog, I talk openly about my family our activities, and I can say that I’ve never had anything bad come of being so reachable. Only good things – opportunites, sometimes big ones – have resulted. Sure, I’ve got comment trolls, but I usually just ignore/delete anyone that doesn’t behave in accordance with “the living room rule” here.

My heart goes out to Kathy. This isn’t new behavior – there have been vicious cowards pretty much as long as the human race has existed. Hopefully, these are just idiot kids hiding behind internet anonymity, and not anyone planning actual physical harm (though harm HAS been done to Kathy even through mere threats).

I really, really wish there was something we could do to help/protect Kathy. I guess we bloggers should do what we do best – talk about the issue and raise awareness.


12 thoughts on “Kathy Sierra Getting Death Threats, Internet Reaches New Low

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  3. Oh my word! This is absolutely HORRIBLE! How can anyone be so low and so cowardly to do such a nasty and cruel thing! I am appalled and I really hope they find the person or people who did this to Kathy. I will definitely be praying for Kathy in the next few days.

  4. Luckily, the Second Amendment gives women like Kathy the right to bear arms in her defense in case someone were to actually try to make good on their threats. Kathy should give author Paxton Quigley a call.

  5. esteban says:

    Keep spreading the word on this Josh. People need to know about. I imagine Kathy needs all the support she can get and by letting people know about this heinous behavior I hope that Kathy can feel less scared. The death threats and slander are immature and stupid acts. The Tech is here for finding these people it just takes a boatload of cooperation amongst infrastructure owners.

  6. Jona says:


    WOW, what a shock. I hadn’t been caught up on Kathy’s site until now. I can’t believe there are people out there doing that. It’s one thing to not be a fan of someone but quite another to make death threats and the whole Photoshoping thing. Have these “trolls” no dignity? I mean what in the world are they thinking. I can’t only imagine what Kathy is going through. I wish there was something we could do as a blogging community to deter people like this.

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