Thursday, March 29, 2007

BBC Radio appearance: World, Have Your Say

I'm going to be appearing (in about an hour, actually) on BBC World Radio as part of their popular call-in show, World, Have Your Say. The subject: Trolls in the Blogosphere.

I'll try to offer the following points:

1. This is not about the culture of the blogosphere or the Internet. Technology isn't to blame, people are to blame. Ever heard the term GIGO? (I will concede that the Internet can lend a cloak of anonymity the makes people feel more comfortable sharing their inappropriate, unpleasant or even evil thoughts...but don't think they don't have those thoughts when they're sitting next to you on the subway too.)

2. Harassment and threats are illegal, regardless of the delivery mechanism.

3. Women and men can be viciously attacked online, but it is more common for attacks on women to have a sexual element. Bottom line: saying "your mother is a whore" to a man is offensive. Saying "you're a whore" to a woman is more personal, more threatening...just more.

4. The response to the Kathy Sierra incident indicates once again that even when discussing attacks on a woman, all women do not think or feel the same. We've seen in the content and the comments on this post and this post at BlogHer, that women can have very different attitudes. Differing opinions aren't bad. Personal attacks...bad.

5. I am not leaping to support the idea of a blogger code of conduct, but I do think every blogger and site gets to set its rules. BlogHer's editorial guidelines are a very important part of our community and its tone. You can do the same, even for your individual blog or site.

Those are my thoughts now, with less than an hour to go. If you want to listen I think you can listen online.

Oh, and fellow BlogHer Beth Kanter will be on the show too...she knows quite a bit about international threats to online women, so I'm sure she'll have a lot to say.

You and Beth? What a win for the BBC!

I like the points you're planning to try and make.

I'm troubled by so much of this and have been for awhile now. I'm afraid there isn't a solution because people, well, people are mean - far too often. :-(
World have your say has the problem of not allowing the people enough time to make a point. I was glad that you where able to talk a bit longer than I was.

Looking forward to the repeat so I can actually hear what you said in total an not have to deal with the sound engineer.
Thanks Denise :)

You're right nicole...the segment got pushed to the very last 10 minutes of the show, so we were all a bit rushed weren't we?
Wow, I'm impressed .. you had time to think! I got the call on my cell phone while driving home from a Sharing Foundation board meeting ...

Yes, Nicole - a bit chaotic ..
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