Week 8 Notes – Th

Posted on 17 May 2007. Filed under: Class Notes |

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7 Responses to “Week 8 Notes – Th”

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SF Gate Article on Kathy Sierra – 27 Mar

The rhetoric hurled in the blogosphere, where anonymity or just the safety of being alone with a keyboard often lead to tremendous vitriol, has gone over the top in this incident. Much of the discussion is heated, as some people suggest Sierra has overreacted by calling the police, and some even say the death threats should be protected speech.

BBC Article on Kathy Sierra – 27 Mar

One of the issues raised is the question of how women bloggers are treated online.

Washington Post – 7 May

A 2006 University of Maryland study on chat rooms found that female participants received 25 times as many sexually explicit and malicious messages as males. A 2005 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that the proportion of internet users who took part in chats and discussion groups plunged from 28 percent in 2000 to 17 percent in 2005, entirely because of the exodus of women. The study attributed the trend to “sensitivity to worrisome behavior in chat rooms.”

ABC News – 3 May

“Big blogs have a tremendous role in shaping the norms of the Internet,” said Ann Bartow, a law professor at the University of South Carolina. “When they tolerate or even perpetuate harassment, others follow suit.”

Wired:Kathy Sierra – 16 April

Wired News interviewed many of the principals in the original affair, including Sierra; Frank Paynter and Chris Locke, the creators of the meankids.org blog; and other contributors to meankids.org. Our goal was to find out who actually posted the threatening content.
The investigation so far has led to two people, a meankids.org contributor and a commenter, who have acknowledged to Sierra that they authored content she found threatening. Sierra no longer considers these individuals as physical threats to her, and has agreed to keep the identity of one of them secret. There are at least two other people whose identities remain uncertain, however.

This is a CNN article on Kathy Sierra. 17 May

LONDON, England (CNN) — I blog, therefore I am: the Internet has become the place where “citizen journalists” broadcast their thoughts to all. This haven of free speech is treasured by thousands of online writers, each ready to leap onto their virtual soapbox and broadcast to the world

blogher commentary on Sierra’s original post – 27 Mar

These assaults are happening to women blogging in every corner of the Internet — food bloggers, political bloggers, feminist bloggers, tech bloggers, entertainment bloggers and — perhaps especially — mommybloggers. The only predictor I have observed is that the more famous the blogger (and/or blogger’s spouse), the more lesbian, and/or the more not-white, the more vicious her attackers.

Salon article from March 31, 2007

Is there really any doubt that women writing on the Web are subject to more abuse than men, simply because they’re women? Really? I’ve been following the Kathy Sierra blog storm, thinking I had nothing new to say, but the continued insistence that Sierra, and those who defend her, are somehow overreacting, or charging sexism where none exists, makes it hard for a mouthy woman to stay silent.

Here is a reaction from another blogger:

“Unfortunately, one quick look at most of the posts coming out of Technorati or Google Blogsearch shows (still now, over 15 hours after Kathy posted) a collection of knee-jerk reactions, side-taking, verbal lynching, and rising up to the defense of noble causes. There are inaccurate facts in blog posts, conjectures presented as fact, calls to arms of various types, and catchy, often misleading, headlines. I tend to despise the mainstream press increasingly for their use of manipulative headlines, but honestly, what I see some bloggers doing here is no better.”


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