April 2, 2007

Update on Kathy Sierra story

Following up on my post from last week, here's an update on Kathy Sierra's situation from her blog. As well, it's useful to read Chris Locke's post where he talks about his lack of involvement in the threats. Tim O'Reilly acted as a mediator between the two, and this is his take on the situation.

Locke and Sierra have issued a joint statement on Locke site. This is Locke's intro to the joint statement:

It's still April Fools Day as I write this, but this page is not a joke. Kathy Sierra and I (Chris Locke) agreed to publish these statements in advance of the story which will appear tomorrow (Monday 2 April 2007) on CNN, sometime between 6 and 9am on "CNN American Morning." As used in the somewhat Victorian title slug, above, "coordinated" is meant to signal our joint effort to get this stuff online, not that we co-wrote the material you see here, or had any hand in prompting or editing each other's words. We hope something new comes through in these statements, and that they will perhaps suggest more creative ways of approaching the kind of debate that has been generated around "the recent events" they relate to. For anyone who is newly arrived from another planet, and is therefore unfamiliar with those events, Kathy's initial post is here, and my initial reaction is here. It is not optimal that this page is hosted on rageboy.com, as my questionable nom de plume has been part of the debate, but time was short and this domain was the most available for the purpose.

It's an interesting joint statement, one that I hope you all read. I hope that the lesson we all learn from this is that the social networks that we have created are living, vital and dynamic things, that are alive and evolving at a crazy pace. As much as we celebrate the wonderful things that rise up from the primordial ooze, we also have to face down the bad. Hopefully, the kind of dialogue that Sierra and Locke have been able to build up is a sign that we can face those demons and make the web a safe, friendlier place for everyone.

I'd like to end with a series of points for a Blogger Code of Conduct that O'Reilly proposes in the post I link to above. It's a code that I can live with and that we can all take to heart.

  1. Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
  2. Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
  3. Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
  4. Ignore the trolls.
  5. Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
  6. If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
  7. Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.


Christina said...

I think in the biblioblogosphere we should add "read charitably" and ask for clarification before getting spun up -- that could probably be worded better. Also, remember that you're talking to real people who have bad days and also have feelings. I'll try to blog a code, too.

John Dupuis said...

Thanks, Christina, those are really good points. Thankfully, the biblioblogosphere isn't anywhere near as toxic as some of those techie blogs. I've only had a couple of trolls over the years and a those were only a bit rude rather than crazy. I guess harrassing 44 year old men isn't that much fun.