I knew there was the occasional spat of nastiness and child like behaviour on occasion happening on the internet regarding peoples attitudes to other businesses and their products. I have been the target of a copy cat and I have had friends and colleagues harassed and provoked online. These things although unacceptable can be handled and dealt with if you are a member of a strong online/offline community. Indeed if you have a support network at all these may be not much more than stumbling blocks.
However it has been increasingly brought to my attention that cyber bullying of women in small business and women bloggers is escalating. Naomi Dunford has decided to bravely stand up and denounce such behaviour.
(Read her blog post of today here -Death Threats and Hate Crimes, Attacks On Women Bloggers Escalating)
She is currently being targeted by online bullies and has even received death threats. DEATH THREATS! For writing things - and inspiring women. O.M.G
In 2007 Kathy Sierra was also in a firestorm regarding the same topic. She has sadly closed her blog and even cancelled her talks at conferences. Kathy's blog was Passionate - Creating Passionate Users. She was 100% voluntary and independently writing here and giving talks. She was never paid for any of it. It was her love and passion and it was 'taken' from her.
There are murmurs that these attacks are not sexist. That these women are not being targeted because they are women. Perhaps not - but why then are they continually being attacked about their sexuality, their bodies and their womanhood?
In March 2007 Lynn Harris wrote an article entitled "Evidence of rampant misogyny, or the price of doing business in the blogosphere?"
Joan Walsh also wrote an interesting piece entitled "Men who hate women on the Web And the women (like me) who try to ignore them. Or at least I did -- until the Kathy Sierra affair"
We need to stand up to these bullies and make it known that this shady, low down, hiding behind computers crime is not acceptable. Don't accept it in your workplace or at home on your computer. Don't instigate it! Don't write that snide little comment you might regret later! Everything on the internet is forever. FOREVER people.
Another post on this topic comes from LoveLeigh Designs Blog "Sista's .... Why can't we just rise above???"
Sadly a lot of our laws have not caught up with the times ... but what will it take? For someone to actually be murdered before we can have justice?