Antonio Cangiano wrote a great post about anonymity on the internet titled Let’s all grow up. I think that it’s an excellent view on how harsh some people have become when masked behind the veil of online anonymity. It’s sad to hear of examples like anonymous death threats and a conference attendee spitting on someone only to run away and hide in the crowd.
In a way, I can see why these people are doing this. They are mostly nerds who were picked on in high school, and who like having the power to intimidate others. But is this really the way they should express their disagreement? Are they not just turning into the bullies that they hated so much? Or are they even worse, because they hide their identities?
Of course, some of these comments may be coming from little kids who just enjoy the opportunity to try out their brand new cuss words. Especially in this case, I think it’s important for the community to step up and discourage this kind of negativity.
As people and as a community, we don’t get better when we hear threats and negative comments directed at us. It is constructive criticism that propels us forward.
In the words of Antonio, let’s all grow up.