Not Just Death Threats

I, too, was sickened to read about Kathy at C.P.U. being harassed and threatened.  I think Scoble gets it exactly right.  This isn’t just about death threats — and it’s our fault for not speaking up more when this was happening in the Anshe Chung case.

Scum like this watched the Anshe Chung case carefully.  And when the a-list acted out of their blind adoration of all things second-life, and ignored what amounted to cyber-rape, the scum saw that they could get away with it and have their reputations intact.  When Anshe was forced to drop the DMCA case, the scum saw further that they could get away with it with no legal consequences.  Is this what the clowns at EFF really wanted?  Where is John Perry?

Truth is, the death threats may turn out to be a distraction (it’s not clear if the person making the threats was colluding with the people who think it’s funny to perform the equivalent of cyber-rape).  But death threats are easier to prosecute.

Scoble is right.  This can’t be just about the death threats, nor can it be just about the legal consequences.  This kind of behavior needs to be brought to the light of day, with full transparency, and people need to own their behavior.  After the other 3 guys are dragged out, I suggest we go back and make sure the idiots who perpetrated the Anshe Chung attack be dragged out into the daylight, too.


6 thoughts on “Not Just Death Threats”

  1. Huh? There is something on the Internet to cause outrage and righteous indignation?

    It seems to me that the Internet *could* be policed and controlled much better than it is. China is making a pretty good start. The Internet is only anonymous because we (the people of the United States) like it that way.

    I envision a centralized system, like license plates for cars. Anybody driving without a license plate goes to jail.

  2. There will always be behavior like this; but it belongs on “Encyclopedia Dramatica”, not condoned by the a-listers who control the conversation. Sans a system of perfect laws, I prefer a system where the role models act like role models and preach (however futile).

    The people perpetrating this were practically a-list bloggers. Perhaps you can’t blame them for thinking it’s acceptable, after nobody spoke up for Anshe Chung. But that just means the a-list needs to act like an a-list next time.

  3. I see where you are coming from. I take the position that all behavior like this should be stopped, no matter if the perp is A-list or not A-list. What if the victim is a teenager, and the perpetrator is a school bully? The harm is even worse.

    I can’t think of any valid reason why the internet should still be anonymous at this point in its evolution. People should be accountable.

  4. There is an argument that this is why the Internet should be anonymous for everyone – including those who blog. Anonymity in the USA for publishing is part of our Constitutional rights due to the threats that have traditionally occurred in trying to suppress those with unpopular political views.

    Having said this, there are ways to track down the perpetrators if they are threatening someone – threats are not protected speech. The perpetrator should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Personally, I hope the perpetrator lives in a state like Michigan that has anti-stalker laws that can put him or her behind bars for a _very_ long time.



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