Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Everyone gets death threats online

What exactly is newsworthy about Anita Sarkeesian receiving death threats on Twitter? Is it that she chose to move out of her home over them, even if that seemed to be an unreasonable response?

Death threats are a cowardly, thuggish tactic employed by crude imbeciles incapable of drafting an intelligent response. They are also, sadly, common online.

So when you see news articles about someone receiving death threats online, its often a good indicator that the writers want you to be more sympathetic to the threat victim or that the threat was made by a member of a group the writer already hates.

Like this one about her, or this one here.

That's not to say that it's never justified to write about someone getting death threats, but there has to be something unusual about it, like this one about death threats sent to the girlfriend of a then-missing airplane passenger, or this one because a conference was almost canceled over the threats.

But to suggest death threats are rare or novel is not true. Death threats have been sent to a Republican governor for surviving a recall election, Rush Limbaugh for not having his show canceled, a video game app developer for taking his product off the market, a radio DJ for criticizing a pop star, a comic book writer for his Spider-Man plot decisions, a video game designer for tweaking multiplayer online game rules or a cartoonist for making a political cartoon.

In short, who hasn't received online death threats?

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