Calls for a "blogger code of conduct" are stupid, as is one of the chief justifications of it:
The draft voluntary code follows incidents where a U.S. blogger and author received death threats by anonymous posters on her site.
I'm in and out of commission, so I hadn't heard of this so-called "death threat" thing. So I looked it up.
Prominent blogger Kathy Sierra has called on the blogosphere to combat the culture of abuse online.
It follows a series of death threats which have forced her to cancel a public appearance and suspend her blog.
Ms Sierra described on her blog how she had been subject to a campaign of threats, including a post that featured a picture of her next to a noose.
Look, if you blog, and blog about controversial shit, you'll get idiotic emails. Most of the time, said "death threats" don't even exist -- evidenced by the fact that the crying bloggers and journalists always fail to produce said "death threats". I suspect many are like this gem I recently received:
AIDS will be killing more amd more of you liberals every year. We conservatives have all the money, and you will be shining our shoes. You will stay in your minimum wage jobs. You are poor. We are rich. We get to travel. You don't. You have to scrape for tips. How about that 2000 election? Nigger Cochran couldn't save you. Is it true that "liberal" means "small penis" in Esperanto? Republicans will hold the Presidency until 2029 at least. You think you have power with Dago Pelosi, but you work for us. We let you "win" an election here and there just to fool you. Pretty cool how the Taliban would let stone walls fall on homosexuals. That is what will happen to liberals. God does not love liberals. That is why he gave you AIDS. Let's hope more gays and liberals get beaten up. From your genetic superior.
Some might say that the line "AIDS will be killing more amd more of you liberals every year" and the "stone wall" thing are "death threats". They are not. They're just the rantings of a lunatic. For my part, I've gotten my fair share of such vile emails. Some of them have threatened my children. One or two actually crossed the line into "death threat" territory. But so what? It's not as if those cowards will actually act on their threats. For better or for worse, this isn't a country in which media figures -- even hugely controversial ones -- are routinely attacked by anything more dangerous than a cream pie.
Email makes it easy for stupid people to send stupid emails to public figures. If they can't handle a little heat in their email inbox, then really, they should try another line of work. Because no "blogger code of conduct" will scare away psycho losers with access to email.