You Shouldn’t Have to Live Your Life in Fear

You Shouldn't Have to Live Your Life in Fear

This morning I got up early at about 4:30 a.m. as I frequently do and headed out to shoot the City. My favorite times to shoot are at night and then in the beautiful light of sunrise and sunset. There’s something about the blues that you can find in the skies as the sun welcomes a new day and in a window of about 10 minutes or so you have a magical moment to make pictures.

And this is something that I love doing. Running around the City when everyone else is still sleeping or just getting up and trying to capture this beauty to share with the rest of the world.

Which brings me to Kathy Sierra, who is in my thoughts this morning along with a heck of a lot of other people. I don’t know Kathy personally, but I can feel for what she is going through right now. Kathy is a blogger who has been harassed to an extreme level over the course of the past few months. This harassment has included death threats and some of the most vile and offensive sexual slurs that you can imagine. And it’s horrible that someone would have to go through that for blogging.

Kathy canceled a speaking engagement she was supposed to be at today because after the harassment she has endured she’s afraid to go out of her house.

My friend Robert Scoble is taking the week off of blogging to show his support for Kathy and what she is going through. I thought I’d dedicate this photograph that I took this morning to Kathy as well. I dedicate this photo to Kathy because when I took it I had a sense of freedom that all human beings deserve. I did not worry when I left my home in the dark this morning that someone would try to kill me today. I did not worry when I was running around Nob Hill in the dark. And it’s this sense of freedom that Kathy should be able to have as well. That everyone should be able to have. A sense of freedom to travel freely in a free country and experience life. That’s what Kathy should have right now and instead she has terror and fear because some inconsiderate jerk decided that he would torment her.

I hope they catch the guy whose idea of sport is to threaten this woman. The person who would show such disrespect to another human being and ruin Kathy’s sense of freedom.

That’s not something that anyone should have to live through. And Kathy add this note of support and this photograph to a growing chorus of people that hate the victimization that you’ve had to endure.

I hate censorship. I’ve long pushed to allow as open as speech as possible — especially on the internet. But death threats take things too far and this story about Kathy’s plight upsets me this morning.

Update: I just read a brutal and horrible post from the site meankids about Robert and Maryam Scoble. I’m not going to link to it because it is so revolting. It was about as horrible a thing as I’ve ever read online. Robert and Maryam are two of the nicest people that you will ever meet. They are genuine and friendly and warm. I’ve known Robert Scoble and have interacted with him for few years now and I’ve never seen or heard him say a mean thing to anyone.

I simply do not get cruelty. To pen something hateful and hurtful for no reason is wrong. After reading the sick material that I just read I can see even more why Robert and Maryam would be so upset by it.

Dave Winer says he takes the side of the mean kids because he doesn’t like lynch mobs. And while this may be something of a general principle for him I guess I just disagree. I certainly do not have all the facts on this case nor do I even know most of the people involved, but what I can say is that I would never associate myself with a place that published something like what I just read about Robert and Maryam. I’d quit. I’d denounce it. And I wouldn’t defend it even against a lynch mob. Robert and Maryam Scoble are my friends, but even if they weren’t, no human being should be subjected to having horrible things written about them for no discernible reason whatsoever.

I like bitting edge humor. I like humor that makes a point even if acerbic. I like to read things that are uncensored. But I don’t like seeing cruelty for the sake of cruelty — cruelty for the sake of sport. That’s wrong.

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