10 thoughts on “links for 27 March 2007 – Virtual violence is not acceptable

  1. Trouble seems to be finding the right people to name and shame … it seems to me there has been some identity obfuscation, and some (relatively) innocent people are caught up in it.

  2. Hrm. I think the jury is still out on that Ric, but I do agree that we don’t want to shame innocent people.

    However a strong message does need to be sent that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

    Included, I think, creating and allowing spaces where others carry on like this.

  3. This is a sad day for progress, equal rights and generally encouraging more women in to the tech field…

    However, Leisa, with regard to free speech. There are clear laws on inciting violence, these idiots have stepped well over that line. We have to accept the fact that this is not a symptom of the net, its a sad part of human nature. Witch-hunting the underbelly of the blogoshere will not fix the problem, its a slippery slope to fascism.

  4. yes, I mostly agree. It’s just that the potential for anonymity and identity confusion web does allow a little more room for this kind of behaviour to go on potentially unpunished.

    I’m not about a witch hunt. I just want to be abundantly clear to anyone who wants to claim in the future that they didn’t know they’d hurt someone, or that they didn’t know they’d allowed something bad to go on in their backyard, that no one wants to hear their excuses.

  5. I’m 100% behind you, but we need only look back 50 years and see the progress. This is due mostly thanks to technology and its ability to enable social communication, understanding. I believe this has caused a maturing of the collective morality.
    We’ve come a long way from Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, the first sexual harassment case in the US.
    It is inevitable that we’ll see crap like this from time to time but, objectivly, we should welcome the fact that we are discussing this. Its a very unfortunate incident, and not to detract from Kathy’s pain, one step back for two steps forward?

    I can only voice encouragement for her, and others, to stand up and let normal people know what the sicko’s do. I guess my point is knee jerk reactions (sorry) and hiding are not conducive to a progressive conversation, which is what is needed to move on.


  6. WTF?

    I don’t know the history of this, but it seems wildly inappropriate under *any* circumstances.

  7. I think it’s worth making the point that this *is* a little different from a lot of other hate speech online, because of the sexual nature of a lot of the language used. That tends to have a different kind of impact on women than it does on men. While Pauric is right that it’s all illegal in any case, it makes it particularly egregious.

    As to what we can do about it, I have no idea. I would advocate prison, but I think any law on this is likely to be poorly enforced.

    But some of the debate on this has become ridiculous.

    There’s a rant on this over at Salon. While I’m not usually a big fan of Joan Walsh’s writing, I think it’s well put together: http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/03/31/sierra/index.html.

  8. Walsh’s article reiterates many points that I’ve heard raised on a web forum I frequent.
    Indeed, the discussions that were had led to a number of prominent female posters abandoning the board, and a number of other posters professing utter confusion that there was anything misogynistic to be found.
    Wilful blindness, PennyArcade’s “instant fuckwad, just add anonymity” theory, or simply utterly incompatible points of view?

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