The Dark Side of the Web

No I don’t mean porn, I mean the dark recesses of the web inhabited by those whose sense of what is right and decent has been abandoned and replaced with God knows what. It is this part of the web that makes educators cringe and lawmakers pass legislation that hurts everyone but their intended audience.

Kathy Sierra is one of my favorite reads. I’ve been inspired by and have learned so much from her blog and although I do not know her personally, her writing and passion have painted an image of her in my mind. Apparently, her writing has painted other images in the warped and twisted minds of a number of individuals who cower behind their anonymity as they post the most appalling things to a number of sites whose sole intent is to bully others. My own personal sense of decency has led me to choose not to repost the links to those sites here. It is one thing to disagree with someone, but it is something else entirely when your disagreement devolves into death threats and terrorism, as was so sadly demonstrated in Kathy’s case.

I admire Kathy for having the strength to write about her experience. I’m outraged that there are individuals who feel that it is o.k. to terrorize others. What Kathy is living through goes far beyond the pale, to the point that law enforcement is involved and legal action quite likely. To the point where she feels that her life is truly endangered. What sort of example does that set for our youth? It sure doesn’t help our efforts as educators as we attempt to break through the barriers which bar our students from active participation in the community of the web. I’d even like to treat this as a teachable moment if it weren’t for the fact that I wouldn’t willingly expose any student of mind to the viciousness and criminality of this series of events.

My thoughts are with you Kathy. You are stronger than they are. The best I can offer is the fervent belief that the best thing for us to do is to shine a great bright light on the dark side of the web and expose it for what it really is.

[tags]kathysierra, blogging, darkside[/tags]

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