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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sierra, Locke et al. - moving on

Like everyone else, the blogosphere has a short attention span and this incident will soon slip from the collective short term memory to the long term memory of blog archives.

This marks that transition for this blog here. As well, this is a time to learn. My position, clear from the start, is zero tolerance. People who make or facilitate misogynistic or other hateful posts must not be tolerated - they should be isolated and, if possible, deleted (I'm looking at you - everyone on Digg, those with mod points on Slashdot, everyone who has a blog with comments).

What are other people saying?

Well, we've already seen Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke's statements (note, not joint statements). But let's not forget that this went well beyond the two of them.

Here's Scoble. He states it's a strain to moderate comments on his blog and considered closing the comments - as many other bloggers have. That would be a shame - what conversation would be left? And it would be letting the bullies win, to boot. Scoble then goes on to make a good point that attack/hate blogs are frequently attention seeking (hell I'd never heard of Chris Locke before).

Then he makes an odd statement: "Lots of bloggers hate them [attacks], but know they better not speak out against them. Kathy, last week, got MORE attacks AFTER she wrote that post than before. So, bloggers, if they are in this for the long haul, learn they should keep their mouths shut." What's that about? Give in to these idiots? Not a chance.

Scoble finishes by saying that there's not much we can do. Hell yeah there is, hound these idiots off the face of the internet, that's what we can do. Bullies don't like it when their victims stand up to them. Just watch Locke crawling now.

A few other posts caught my eye. Sessum is tired of people pointing out that she supported Meankids. Well, she should have thought about that before being an idiot. You thought racist, misogynistic crap was good? And let's not pretend that stuff only came out later in the blog's life - check the search engine caches, it was like that from the start.

Finally, I like Tara Hunt's thoughts on these people's motivation. I couldn't agree more.

That's it. Time to move on.

But never forget.

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Useful summary, thank you.

"My position, clear from the start, is zero tolerance."

Very much agree. I'd add two things:

1. it's well worth thinking more deeply about what a zero tolerance policy, practised voluuntarily, would mean in detail

2. the Sierra incident, because it has received such publicity on the Web and on US national news, is a good opportunity to form a counter-cultural movement (counter as far as the Net is concerned, not necessarily the wider world) that I have been calling 'Zero Tolerance Internet'

Re 1, an example of the kind of issue that has only crystalized in my mind through the reflection and debate - feel free to tell me I'm stupid, everyone else does! - is what I've just posted on Tim O'Reilly's blog at [04.03.07 03:13 PM]:


Re 2, the original ZTI proposal was on Scobleizer:


I'm been wondering since whether ZTI is the best phrase, whether 'Cleanroom Internet' might be better. Either way, it's the 'select committee' idea to define what it means, with as many women as men, as many victims of serious web abuse as those that aren't, that would be key.

Anyhow, thanks again for the summary. It's time to move on AND to continue to think seriously about the systemic issues raised.
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