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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Crossing over the line

I am a newshound. I am constantly searching for updated news on a variety of subjects. I manage to hit all major media outlets a few times a day, have a scrolling ticker from a newsfeeder on the top right hand corner of my screen so I will be notified when anything new breaks and I check in over at memeorandum to see what everyone is talking about and to see if I can add anything new to the mix by researching stories.

Taking a break from politics for a second here, I ran across this which disturbed me to no end.

As I type this, I am supposed to be in San Diego, delivering a workshop at the ETech conference. But I'm not. I'm at home, with the doors locked, terrified. For the last four weeks, I've been getting death threat comments on this blog. But that's not what pushed me over the edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and sex posted on two other blogs... blogs authored and/or owned by a group that includes prominent bloggers. People you've probably heard of. People like respected Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Chris Locke (aka Rageboy)

Emphasis mine.

Disagree all you want, debate, get passionate, but to threaten and strike fear into a person simply because you disagree or cannot handle hearing the truth is crossing the line and these people should be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.

This is wrong.

There is a reason that hate speech is not protected under the free speech laws.

Hate speech is a controversial term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance (such as height,weight, and hair color). The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting. It is also sometimes called antilocution and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society.

Please visit "Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)" because I will not repost the pictures that this woman has had to deal with here.

I will show you some of the hatred filled sickness that she has had to deal with, but you must go to her site and see what kind of pictures have been posted on other sites about her... truly disgusting.

From her site:

[Note: This post includes disturbing language and a picture beyond anything I'd normally say here, so some of you might not want to continue reading. But I felt it was important to be specific about as much as the police investigation will allow.]

It began just over four weeks ago, when something shifted. It started with death threat blog comments left here (which some of you may have seen before I deleted them) including:
Comment from:

Name: siftee

fuck off you boring slut... i hope someone slits your throat and cums down your gob

We all have trolls--but until four weeks ago, none of mine had threatened death. (The law is clear--to encourage or suggest someone's death is just as illegal as claiming you intend to do it yourself).

At about the same time, a group of bloggers including Listics' Frank Paynter, prominent marketing blogger Jeneane Sessum, and Raving Lunacy Allen Herrel (aka Head Lemur) began participating on a (recently pulled) blog called At first, it was the usual stuff--lots of slamming of people like Tara Hunt, Hugh MacLeod, Maryam Scoble, and myself. Nothing new. No big deal. Nothing they hadn't done on their own blogs many times before.

But when it was my turn, somebody crossed a line. They posted a photo of a noose next to my head, and one of their members (posting as "Joey") commented "the only thing Kathy has to offer me is that noose in her neck size."

She then goes on to show us what pushed her over the edge and after seeing it, I do not blame her for being in fear for her life, but I do hope those that did this suffer the consequences of their actions.

I will leave you with the saddest part of this:

I have cancelled all speaking engagements.

I am afraid to leave my yard.

I will never feel the same. I will never be the same.

No one should be made to feel that way. NO ONE.

Kathy my thoughts and those of my readers go out to you. Folks, if you are reading this, please stop by her site and show her some moral support.

Taking a look at others discussing this, it seems to transcend which side of the aisle you are on, most from both sides agree, this is simply WRONG:

Lean Left, Winds of Change.NET, Scobleizer, protein wisdom, Pandagon, Polimom Says, Creative Think, Althouse, Tennessee Guerilla Women,, Feministing, Feministe and Majikthise