All That Is Necessary for the Triumph of Evil Is For Good Men to Do Nothing

Much has been written about Kathy Sierra's post Death Threats Against Bloggers are NOT "Protected Speech". I find it difficult to think of what I can add, yet the ethos expressed in the title of this post compels me to try.

I have had someone I love suffer harassment. It hurts more than just one person, and the terror is real. What disturbs me most about the responses of Chris Locke and others is the pride they have in the "You Own Your Own Words" ethos; that they have no responsibility as a community member to condemn acts such as death threats. This is anarchy, pure and simple.

If any good comes of this whole affair, it will be that the MeanKids/BobsYourUncle communities have given us two valuable experiments in practical anarchy, and in each case showed that anarchy breeds escalating evil. It sickens me that this long- and bloodily-discredited meme continues to infect healthy minds.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Kathy and everyone else involved in this situation; hopefully the title lesson will be learned and remembered by all.

posted by Mike at 7:53 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mike

Re: "You Own Your Own Words" - right o.k.

"You Own Your Own Blog" should prevail as in: as blog-owner you do have responsibility,

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

see http://duckdown.blogspot.com/2007/03/kathy-sierra-and-ethics.html

5:11 AM  
Blogger Mike said...


I agree completely. Unless you're a hermit living in a cave in the desert, you are part of a society and as such have responsibilities to the other members of that society.

In this case, Frank Paynter acted appropriately as owner of meankids.org.


7:31 AM  
Blogger Mike said...


"The opinions expressed herein may or may not represent my own personal opinions"? What if Kathy put up that same disclaimer? Is she then off the hook for getting folks convicted in the court of public opinion?

As I wrote this post, I tried very hard not to ascribe motives to individuals that required me to read their minds. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of all parties in this case, but I would hope they would do the same.


7:48 AM  

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