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Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations)

Update: I could not bear to leave this post up on the site, as one of the last things people will see and remember about this blog -- and especially with that horrible photo. So, I have moved the post to a separate web page here. The content is exactly as it was posted, athough it lost some formatting. Comments are closed (after 1100 of them), but you can still read them here. I deleted only one comment from this thread.

Posted by Kathy on April 6, 2007 | Permalink


Wow - that just sucks. I just found your blog recently and it is an amazing read - very thought provoking.

It's a shock to read about all that hassle you have to endure - I wonder how that type of stuff even gets crossed over into this subject matter. Strange.

Some people are mighty sick that's for sure.

Posted by: Andrew | Mar 26, 2007 2:00:18 PM

I'm really sorry to see that this happening. Not cool.

Posted by: Robby Russell | Mar 26, 2007 2:01:23 PM

This post leaves me no faith in humanity. I do not blame you one bit. Your blog is easily in the top 3 blogs I read with any regularity, it would be a shame to see it go, but you should not have to tolerate death threats. So, if you never post again, I want to take this opportunity for helping me write better software.

Posted by: Nicholas schlueter | Mar 26, 2007 2:02:01 PM

er, i meant, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me write better software.

Posted by: Nicholas schlueter | Mar 26, 2007 2:04:43 PM

It surprises me how hateful and absurdly childish supposed professionals can be.

I have never commented (but lurk) on this site before, but this really got to me. There just isn't an excuse for these comments and photos. None.

I'm sorry you have to live through it.

Posted by: Trey | Mar 26, 2007 2:05:30 PM

OMG this is terrible. I am speechless. I wish I was some monster hacker that could trace the blog entries through IP. This is just criminal. I wish I can say a million more things but I guess that is just the kind of effect that is desired, so I'll just say this: don't let this get you under. Be safe, stay protected and know that you have a massive support group out there that will help you in any way humanly possible. Just ask.

Posted by: Adeleida | Mar 26, 2007 2:09:52 PM

Well crap.

For once their is an enlightened soul who understands how people think, what they want in their software, AND has the ability to translate that knowledge into written words, only to be silenced through threats.

I have never met you or have heard you speak, but I am certain that I can type these lines of praise without concern for accuracy...your writing alone proves it to me.

Thanks for your efforts and I sincerely hope that this has a positive outcome that includes your blogging again.

Posted by: Andy Broyles | Mar 26, 2007 2:10:00 PM

Way, way out of control. The community needs to rally around: http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2007/03/26/Kathy-Sierra

Posted by: Tim Bray | Mar 26, 2007 2:16:31 PM

Words fail me. No one should have to live through that - and no one should be allowed to get away with doing it.

Posted by: Joanna Young | Mar 26, 2007 2:16:35 PM

Your response to this viciousness is prudent. Take the time to cope and regroup and I hope you come back stronger.

I have always enjoyed your blog and admired your generosity. I can't imagine why anybody would wish you harm.

The nature of these attacks demonstrates both the depravity and ignorance of their authors, and is a stark contrast to your record.

Posted by: Don | Mar 26, 2007 2:22:41 PM

I hope that you get this whole situation solved. How could anyone do something so mean to such a nicer person?

Posted by: Ethan Poole | Mar 26, 2007 2:30:37 PM

Hello Kathy;
I am sorry that you have had to go thru this. Honestly, I've heard of cyberbullying, evne in the blogsphere, but this is way over the edge. I do hope that with the help of the police (and I believe the feds get involved with this at some point too) that those who have issued those threats will not only be brought to justice, but some item of legislation will protect bloggers and the like from this before something wrong happens.

You have my prayers and support, as well as that of my team at Mobile Ministry Magazine.

Posted by: Antoine of MMM/Brighthand | Mar 26, 2007 2:31:30 PM

This sickens and disgusts me. I'm so sorry that you've been made a target. I've read your books and on-line postings and always found them to be inspired. It would sadden me to have an intelligent voice silenced, but I can understand why you'd want to stop. You have my support and best wishes. - MOD

Posted by: Michael | Mar 26, 2007 2:33:25 PM

I am so sorry about this. I hope you keep blogging and speaking. Best wishes to you and your family.

Posted by: Yatima | Mar 26, 2007 2:34:25 PM

Wow. What a terrible experience. I hope you can take some comfort in the support of your readers.

Posted by: TimCost | Mar 26, 2007 2:38:23 PM

I'm shocked and appalled. I've been reading your blog for sometime and it's by far one of the most interesting, inspiring and useful of any I've found. It will be a pity if you choose not to continue, but I understand your feelings. Is there not way to track down these people?

Posted by: Roy | Mar 26, 2007 2:38:33 PM

This totally sucks. I understand your fear and frustration. Hope this will e brought to a stop soon, so you can continue blogging, I really appreciate your posts!

Posted by: Theo Lagendijk | Mar 26, 2007 2:38:39 PM

This is terrible. I hope the police find who's behind this and give them what they deserve. Be strong, and I hope you come back soon.

Posted by: Kingsley | Mar 26, 2007 2:39:35 PM

This is truly disturbing material. The originating site now has been pulled down. And that's good. Because sentiments like these should never see the light of day. Shame on those behind it.

Hang in there Kathy.

Posted by: Joseph Thornley | Mar 26, 2007 2:40:53 PM

I don't understand. It is not acceptable for ANYONE to act this way. But I especially cannot understand why you (Kathy) are the target of this. It's not like you are a controversial figure that is likely to bring out the hate mongers like Ann Coulter or even Michael Moore would.

I love you writings here, I hope that you can find a way to keep it going!

Posted by: Rob Lambert | Mar 26, 2007 2:40:59 PM

I discovered your blog a while a go and your insights are so great. I can't understand why somebody would do such thing to you and attack you so personally.
Good luck

Posted by: Javache | Mar 26, 2007 2:41:08 PM

Hey Kathy,

You rock!Those who would stoop to make such anonymous comments are cowards. They type big but would never dare to say that to your face.

They should not only be expelled from the blogosphere, their computers should be confiscated and they should be banned from using them for a period of decades.

Hang in there.


Posted by: Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross | Mar 26, 2007 2:42:11 PM

So sorry about this and I will do my best to get this post seen by other people...

Chin up, remember the vast majority of us think you're great :)

Posted by: Jon Leighton | Mar 26, 2007 2:47:00 PM


Hang in there. I've been a victim of cyber-bullying in the past thanks to my rather high-profile position in a user community meeting a serial troll. But never have I heard of it to this degree.

I enjoy your blog and your ability to communicate complex ideas in ways we can all understand and apply. I truly hope you keep blogging--but even more than that, I hope the authorities catch and prosecute the people responsible for the threats.

Best wishes,


Posted by: Tim Courtney | Mar 26, 2007 2:50:03 PM


I've recently been the target of several personal attacks on the Internet by (of course) anonymous people, but your experience makes all that pale in comparison. Reading your post affected me physically--I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I don't know what to say to make you--or me for that matter--feel any better, but I didn't want to be silent in response. Just know that there are normal, mature, professional, respectful people out there reading your words, and that we're on your side. I don't know what it would be, but if there's ever anything I can do to help just let me know.

Charlie Wood

Posted by: Charlie Wood | Mar 26, 2007 2:50:18 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.