Little Joe McCarthy, Where's Little Joseph Welch?
While cruising around the internets today catching up on the blogs I read more infrequently (as opposed to the ones I read daily), I quite randomly discovered that zuzu from Feministe is taking a hiatus from blogging due to litigation threats from another blogger. After having read precisely as much of Feministe as I wanted to, I hopped on over to Creek Running North, only to be greeted by this message (quoted in its entirety):
After family discussion regarding a commenter's threat of violence against our dog, Creek Running North has been taken offline.
The entirety of Creek Running North is just gone.
This reminds me all too much of what happened to my good friend Thers, late of Metacomments (no link because the blog's not there anymore). A bunch of commenters from one particular right-wing blogger's site descended en masse onto Metacomments, and someone made a very inappropriate comment about a member of Thers' family. (It wasn't even about Thers, and I'm not going to repeat it because as far as I can tell, he doesn't like to talk about it. So if you want the disgusting details, you'll have to pester him. I did, however, see the thread in question before Thers took Metacomments down, and it was oogly.)
I try not to get involved in blogwars and flamewars and the like, which is part of the reason why this blog reads, for the most part, like a recitativo secco of current events and political trends. However, I think this is a political trend -- an intra-blogosphere political trend -- worth paying attention to, especially for me, given my (usual) precarious situation.
Should this blog disappear at some unspecified point in the future, it's merely me trying to protect my patchy anonymity and whatever remaining tattered fragments are left of my reputation. I suspect that's unlikely, though, since my nine regular readers generally like me. For now.
The larger lesson here is, I guess, think before you type, and, as one commenter over at Feministe noted, "The bothersome effect of pseudynimity is that it gives the rest of us the privilege that [the blogger in question] takes for granted. And that’s the real problem: not that it gives others impunity, but that it creates a situation where impunity ceases to be [a] special privilege." We all like being able to say whatever we want -- not that there's much here I wouldn't say in public or to the offenders' faces anyhow -- but these days, it's getting a little tricky to even open one's mouth in semi-public without fear of reprisal one way or another.