How is it that the person who wrote one of my favorite blog posts of all time on the issues of positive thinking and positive association, has become the victim of threats that cross all sorts of lines. Whatever the details on this huge controversy are, the bottom line is that I hate to see one of our fellow usability geeks get hurt.
However, the reaction by Kathy and many other bloggers sympathetic to her cause has been to abstain from writing in their blogs in a supposed act of protest and support. I frankly don’t get it. It’s just free speech.
I do not agree with most of Malkin’s political opinions (with the notable exception of certain free speech issues), but there is one thing she said recently in relation to this incident that I do wish to quote here:
My response to this and other endless slurs and threats–most empty, some serious–has been two-fold:
1) Report the serious threats to law enforcement.
2) Keep blogging.
As I have said before: “There is a time to be tolerant and there is a time to draw lines. If you don’t draw those lines, bullies will be emboldened.”
That is my unsolicited advice to those now cowering in the face of anonymous commenters and assorted nutballs who will never go away.
Would I stop blogging as Kathy has done? Hell no. The only thing that stops me from blogging is outright laziness, lackawanna, and deep cases of ennui. My reaction to such hostility and negativity has traditionally been to completely ignore the offensive material and continue forward. In fact I thought twice about posting this issue on my own blog here, because to an extent I am just perpetuating the flame war begun by the trolls that began this mess.
Although maybe the silence is in itself a form of speech. But I think keeping the blogosphere full of positive energy is better than letting silence and negativity rule.