This is just to say that I think harassment of other people is wrong. And anonymous online harassment of people is wrong, and cowardly, and deserves to be called out. I agree with Ryan and Walt and Rafe, especially Rafe’s most recent post where he discusses how for many female bloggers this sort of harassment is nothing new. There was an incident that sparked this particular post — well two, one in the blogonets and one that has been taking place over email — but it’s something I’ve been thinking about generally for some time now.
I haven’t gotten a lot of harassing email and comments, but I have gotten some. I have gotten more of them than I would want. When I was running a blog about civil unions in Vermont — a hot topic at the time — I got an awful lot of hate mail including the “I hope you die of AIDS” variety. I’ve only gotten one “I hope you die” sort of email message related to librarian.net and the scary thing about it was that it was not anonymous. I’m also fairly certain that it was not serious, but it sure did creep me out. I get a bit of razzing and eye-rolling from people on other blogs, but the “hate mail” type communication has stopped, mainly since I left ALA Council. Sorry, but it’s true.
It’s a fine line between calling people out on their shenanigans, and starting a fight that you don’t wish to be involved in. I generally try to steer clear of hassling other people and for the most part they steer clear of hassling me. This doesn’t work for everyone, and I always worry that it won’t work for me forever, this “I have all my personal information on the Internet” thing. In any case, that’s all I have to say on this. More update on things librarian this week.