The Changing Attitudes Towards Cyber Gender Harassment: Anonymous as a Guide?

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
April 27, 2014

In 2007 technologist Kathy Sierra faced graphic rape and death threats on her blog Creating Passionate Users and in her email inbox. Around the same time group blogs run by Chris Locke featured two doctored photos of Sierra: one showed Sierra with a noose beside her neck, next to the comment “The only thing Kathy Sierra is good for is her neck size,” and the other depicted Sierra screaming while being suffocated by lingerie. Sierra spoke out against the threats and photos on her blog. She was terrified, and rightly so. Her public comments, however, drew the ire of self-proclaimed troll weev who would later brag to the New York Times Magazine that he doxed Sierra because he was tired of her “whining” about the abuse. weev inspired a cyber mob to spread Sierra’s social security number all over the web. Countless sites featured a false narrative about Sierra’s life and career. Sierra shut down her blog. It was not worth the abuse.

Read the full piece at Forbes.