Thursday, March 29, 2007

The dark side

sunset 2
The blogosphere is buzzing with Kathy Sierra’s account of the death threats she’s received on her blog. These events and their very serious consequences are posted about here. Naff comments and spam are one thing, but in the ephemeral and sometimes lite and frothy world of blogging, there’s shock and surprise. Unpleasant though it maybe, some argue that because this sort of thing happens anyway, in life, it’s inevitable that it’ll happen on blogs from time to time. Are we moving away from the naïve view that everything to do with social networking is innocent fun? Utopian ideals are one thing, but do we need to protect the vulnerable from this sort of thing…and how? We need to be able to steer a clear line between moral panic, censorship and surveillance. (Note the same issues surface in educational responses to new media.)

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