Threats Force Women Out of Blogosphere

Virtual sexual harassment stifles voices, raises fears of real-world hostility
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2007 10:54 AM CDT
A screenshot from Kathy Sierra's blog, Creating Passionate Users.
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(Newser) – Violent, sexualized threats against female bloggers are forcing some of them out of the online community, reports the Washington Post. The problem, highlighted by the harassment that caused Kathy Sierra to suspend her popular technology blog, is frustrating at best; at worst, it causes women to fear for their safety and abandon the medium.

To avoid it, some women adopt gender-neutral pseudonyms; others moderate comments. But Internet anonymity makes stopping perpetrators nearly impossible. Those who report harassment say police brush them off and other bloggers tell them to toughen up. Few can shake the experience. "I will never feel the same. I will never be the same," Sierra writes.