Death Threats Against Bloggers

First, there was what happened to Kathy Sierra. Now, it’s hitting Michael Arrington, too.

I’m disturbed, and I don’t like this.

I’m aware that some people take things like religion and politics so seriously that they’ll fight, kill or die over them. But Kathy Sierra wrote about making software as pleasing to users as possible. Michael Arrington? Okay, I didn’t used to read his blog, but I get the idea his topic was “what’s going on in Silicon Valley”.

And people feel that they need to spit on and threaten to rape or kill over this?

Did such things never used to happen? Or did we simply never hear about them? Why were there no cases of, for example, newspaper columnists in the ’50s getting death threats over their thoughts about fashion or architecture? (Or were there such cases?)

Are people getting more insane? And if so, why? And how do we stop it?

I also can’t help but wonder if, now that it’s happened to Arrington too, people will take it more seriously. And how much of that is that twice is more significant, and how much of that is because Arrington is male, and so we can’t write it off as “feminine hysteria”? (On the other hand, kudos to those who took it seriously back when it was just Sierra — and even pointed out that “this culture of attacking women… has especially got to stop“.)

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