If you’ve ever registered with JavaRanch then you’re familiar with the rules. It may seem like a stretch, it can take a long time to read and it’s probably really hard for some folks. But it’s not new…no, most of us learn the rules pretty early – before we even head to school. That rule? It’s simple – be nice. That’s it. Amazing how much ground that covers and talk about creating community. Ever wonder why it took so long for “the rest of the world” to get online? Have you ever *read* some usenet postings? Talk about mean…sure, I understand where some of it comes from, I really do. Heck, I was picked on in grade school (who wasn’t?) but that doesn’t give me (or anyone) the right to take potshots at people.
But anonymity is a powerful drug especially for a certain kind of person. In case you hadn’t heard, tech luminary Kathy Sierra has been receiving misogynistic death threats. That’s right. Death threats. I can’t for the life of me imagine the type of individual (or perhaps group) that dreams up the kind of trash that Kathy has had thrown at her in the last month. As a speaker and author, I’ve come to expect a certain amount of criticism and though it certainly hurts you learn to take it in stride. You also realize that someone will find fault in *anything* you do. That’s OK, it’s the cost of doing business; I’m a big boy and I try not to take it personally. But when it goes over the line…that just can’t be supported.
I’m a huge advocate of free speech and sometimes that must be anonymous. That said, I cannot abide by the assault that has been perpetrated against a person I deeply respect. Kathy is popular for a reason – she’s a great author, a fantastic speaker and her blog deserves its place in the “a-list.” It’s a small token, I know, but I hope Kathy realizes just how much her voice means to me and many others. We’re behind you and I’m sure those that perpetrated the threats against you will be brought swiftly to justice.