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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Paynter and Locke: what actually happened at meankids and unclebobism?

Sorting out the time line behind the attacks on Kathy Sierra... (update: link now dead. Kathy didn't want that remaining as the last post on her blog.)

(NB no specific death threats were made on either site discussed here. Those were made in comments on Sierra's blog. )

First a blog called "meankids" was set up by Frank Paynter after Tara Hunt used the term to describe people attacking her in the comments of blog. Meankids was just another attack-site attempting to satire other blogs/companies - you can see a sample of their work in the google cache (don't know how long that link will be active). On this site an unnamed blogger posted an image of Kathy Sierra next to a noose. A member of the site called "Joey" then posted "the only thing Kathy has to offer me is that noose in her neck size". The same person then went on to make several sexual remarks about Sierra.

On March 17 meankids was deleted by Paynter who later stated that he "tore the site down" after a subset of the contributors - including Chris Locke - objected to him moderating their misogynistic posts. Locke replaced meankids with "unclebobism" on wordpress.com, with the same aims. This site appeared to open on March 20, when Paynter first linked to it.

Then, on March 24, a horrific photoshopped picture of Sierra was posted on unclebobism with underwear digitally superimposed over her head. Someone also posted disgusting sexual comments to the blog on a different post. Herrel's name wasn't used, but look at the avatar picture used on unclebobism - it's Herrel's picture. Locke, after being mailed by Sierra, claims he deleted unclebobism. But click this link - it seems that unclebobism was not deleted by Locke, but was taken down by Wordpress.com as a breach of their terms and conditions.

What is abundantly clear is that if the originator of the pictures and threats was not either Paynter or Locke, they know who he his.

Footnote: Painter said on March 17 "MeanKids dropped the curtain last night. The world will little note nor long remember how offensive…"

*Herrel briefly had a post on his blog with a vague denial that he was behind the comments. A few commenters weren't particularly impressed. Herrel then deleted his entire blog.

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