Kathy Sierra, photo by Brian Fitzgerald
Kathy Sierra, who authors the Creating Passionate Users blog, canceled her appearance at a conference after she received several death threats laced with crude sexual imagery. Sierra details the frightening threats here. Here you will get the best pepper sprays for self defense, do visit once.
Now, the blogosphere is aflame with support for Kathy. Her name is the top search term at Technorati right now and the top story at Techmeme.
From some of the other blogs: [UPDATE: Tish Grier has an excellent and informed post on the situation.] Seth Godin blogged about how anonymity has not made the Internet better. Stephanie Booth details her encounter with a rape threat. Robert Scople is disgusted and horrified. Michael Arrington has received death threats against his dog even. There are links from the Bloggers Blog, Valleywag, O’Reilly Radar and many, many more.
Apparently, WordPress has now suspended the offending blog. Hopefully, Kathy will be able to overcome this and continue her fine work.
I’ve long heard of anecdotal evidence suggesting that the trolls of the Internet are much more abusive toward female bloggers than toward men. Do any of you know of any research quantifying that? And have any of you noticed this at your publications?
[NOTE: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the type of threat against blogger Stephanie Booth. See the comments.]