Web 2.0 Eats Its Own

If you’ve been waiting to find out what happens when big-name blogs collide in the most virtually violent fashion, you can now safely exhale. Uber-geek-cheerleader (is it sexist if you mean it flatteringly? Probably, and this becomes meaningful in a moment) Kathy Sierra and Chris “Clue Train Manifesto” Locke get into a comment troll-fueled feud over sexism and anonymous harassment on the Internet. Insults are exchanged, fingers are pointed, every skulking Gollum in the blogosphere shows up in the arena, death threats ensue, eventually the cops are called in and none other than Tim “I’m the only reason geeks ever meet in personO’Reilly has to broker a ceasefire. And one of the bloggers cancels speaking appearances, locks the doors and turns off her blog. Oh yeah, and it all comes to a head on April Fools’ Day, so maybe it’s all theater, you know, to “bring up an important issue.” You really have to hope so. But I doubt it. I mean, CNN bought it.

And speaking of CNN, of course they end with a wonderfully unintentional ironic twist:

Female Reporter: “Even Kathy Sierra, the target of these threats, says that freedom of speech is to be preserved… the alternative is to censor and that’s not the right solution…”

Male Reporter: “How can you threaten the ‘Cute Kitty?'”

Female Anchor: “Poor woman, so terrifying.”

Way to elevate the level of discourse, CNN! You have truly fulfilled your journalistic charter by diffusing my fear and outrage and letting me fall right back into my comfortable prejudices about the place of women in our society. Sexism in the blogosphere? Nothing can touch TV news.

Also, how creepy is it that CNN has these two bloggers, embroiled in a shitstorm of accusations of online harassment, sexual predation and death threats, meet for the first time in a generic hotel room! Internet, anonymity, sex, hotel room… yeah, that’s subtle.

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