Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Gavin Heaton

It is unbelievable. Outrageous. And should be condemned in the strongest terms.

Paul McEnany

I just don't get it. This all just seems so crazy...

Lou Minatti

I don't get it. It's not like Kathy writes controversial material that would offend a great number of people. I can understand people being offended by Little Green Footballs or Daily Kos. Not Kathy.

That strange 1% you write about. Sounds about right. They are the crazies. If it wasn't for the Web they would find some other media to vent.

J. Random Hacker

I've been seeing comments like these on political sites since day one. The excuse there has always been "free speech". But speech like this doesn't happen in the outside world, because we don't tolerate it. Comments like that will get you in a fight, get your teeth knocked out, get you thrown in jail. But it happens on the internet because we tolerate it.

We need to stop tolerating it. Blogs and forums need to start vetting their commenters. Require registration and a waiting period. Maybe you can't moderate all comments on a busy site, but you can moderate the posters.

One of these days there will be the technology to reach across the net and and slap someone for being rude. But until then we need to rethink our faith in anonymous instant posting. Like I just did here. It's not the utopian ideal, but neither are locks on doors.

Dennis Coxe

As I noted in my post about Kathy's ordeal ( we seem to have lost our sense of balance. We all scream about our rights (including the right to free speech), but we have forgotten about the responsibilities that go hand in hand with those rights. We need, as a society, to condemn this kind of speech as morally wrong. I blame the moral relativism that seems to making inroads into this country.

Roy Jacobsen

It may not be much, but I've created an online petition, "In Solidarity with Kathy Sierra." You can sign it here:

Roy Jacobsen

Sorry, I provided a bad link for that petition. Go here instead:


Disturbing indeed! After re-reading Kathy's post, what strikes me most is what pushed her over the edge. "Threats of violence and sex" on other sites. Death threats are scary, but as a woman, sexual threats are equally fear-provoking. The violent thought behind them feels stronger and more possible. And as Kathy said, the threat itself ignites the fear that causes the damage.

My outrage goes beyond registering people who comment on your site so they can be caught or chastising those who promote it on their sites. It goes to the celebration of violence in media. It goes to ways our culture feeds the addiction to fear and violence. It goes to rampant pornography and denigration of the female. It goes to the freedom of women to speak their truth and be safe.

This is an example of the shadow side of communicating through a screen darkly. This is the shadow side of not having a complete person on either end of communication. As J. Random Hacker (great anonymous name) said above, in a social setting comments like these would invite a physical fight so they probably would not be said in broad daylight.

How do we generate supportive, empowering, uplifting, human to human communication on the internet? I celebrate what I have seen on Roger's site and others that does just this.

Karl Boggs

Roger thanks for speaking up.

I have never been a public figure but I have received my share of bullying both as a kid and an adult. I still don't know how to deal with it and get especially upset when it happens to other people.

I hope Kathy can get some resolution to everything and will be able to feel safe again.

I have been reading through some of the reactions and it brings up another issue for me around free speech. Why are anonymous attacks of any kind considered free speech? If the person or organization doesn't claim their spew what is it that is being protected? The flipside is that I always remind folks that while they might have the right to say what they want I also have the right not to listen.

Roger von Oech

Thanks for all your comments, thoughts, and concerns. I wish it had been a different sort of post that caused you to take time to write.

Andy Freeman

But Michelle Malkin deserves it, right?

Roger von Oech

Andy: Nobody deserves it. I find Michelle Malkin interesting. But people like Michelle and Arianna Huffington know the arena in which they're playing. To use an imperfect water sports analogy, it's like water polo. Beneath the water's surface there's a lot of nasty stuff going on — much of it against the rules. But if you choose to play water polo, you realize that it's part of the game — although you hope only a few of your opponents do it and that the refs call it and eject the perpetrator.

But the sport many of us (in my end of the blogsophere) are playing is closer to competitive swimming. If a racer from another lane comes over into your lane and dunks you or pushes you off the starting blocks, then that's not only an egregious foul, it's also completely unprecedented — and must be condemned in no uncertain terms.

Phillip Marzella

The price of a high public profile is that it attracts the attention of individuals with questionable mental health. statues in public places attract pigeons...

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