Kathy Sierra has had a very unpleasant experience: Creating Passionate Users: Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)
Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech"
This post is my small message of support and a plea for this sort of insanity to stop. We are a privileged generation to have access to the Internet, it is a resource that no one in human history has ever had before. We have new ways of talking, making money and governing ourselves which are still evolving and taking human society in new directions (it will be even better once we can get the rest of the world on the net). However the type of abuse that Kathy suffered (and other types of abuse) slows down the spread of the net in all sorts of ways:
  1. It provides governments and other organisations with the perfect excuse to try and restict and control the network
  2. It provides a barrier to entry for a huge pool of talent as abuse makes participation by peopled who are abused much more difficult
  3. It makes the Internet more unpleasant and harder for the rest of us as well
I am a passionate believer in free speech. However that does NOT give people an excuse to threaten others. With freedom of speech also comes the freedom to feel safe. What is so wrong with being civil to each other?

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