Blog Bullying…

or “those who live in digital houses shouldn’t throw electronic stones”

Blogging makes some people act like soccer moms driving giant, gas-guzzling, Suburbans. Protected by their cocoon of semi-anonymity and not forced to interact with people in the way most of us are taught to as young children – you know with respect – they suddenly become aggressive with large doses of emotional testosterone running their veins like heroin, they speed, yell, they would throw excrement if we had not leapt off that evolutionary plateau already – the ugliness of it all just makes driving a really unpleasant experience.

Is this what blogging has become, one giant ugly commute through cyberspace? Some jackass flipping you off with 1 and 0’s, calling you names from behind his cyber-facade, tailgating through twisted-pair, driving slow in the WAN lane, not signaling when routing, or worse leaving the proverbial blinker on by continually posting the same set of ridiculous comments to your own little slice of cyberspace.

I look around the blogosphere this month and it is eerily reminiscent of 6th grade, looks like there is going to be a fight at 3 o’clock. I thought we were adults, professionals, some of us representing our organizations through the blog, some of us actually using them for revenue, and others (like myself) just looking to share some thoughts with my peers and anyone who may be interested, you know just looking for a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive.

Shimel (who I am not picking on) is a classic example of what I would term “blog bullying”. In the last 30+ days he has posted “commentary” that I would find bordering on inflammatory if done in a public forum, like you know face to face, but somehow seems normal for bloggers. He has posted less than flattering commentary on lockdown (here), eEye a couple of times (here), and (here), Vernier (here), Greg Toto (here), Symantec and McAfee (here), Insightix (here) and that is just in the last 30 days. Not to mention the numerous bickering sessions with Rothman and others

Alan is certiainly not the only one, Ptacek tends to rip ’em apart on the blog (here), (here), and (here), but he is like that in person too, so it is more natural from him than most folks. Murray notes that the last month the blogs he reads have devolved into flame wars (here), he then notes some issues that folks are not blogging about but should be, which is then followed up with a post on what makes a blog super-popular and asks what “we” would like to see him blog about (here). I don’t know Mike – how about blogging about all those things that you say no one is blogging about instead of all the personal power, excellence, life management “noise”

Damn I just blog bullied Mike! It is so hard not to, just like it is hard not to engage that jackass that has been tailgating you for the last mile. (Note: I know Mike personally and would feel absolutely comfortable giving him a hard time in person, and have)

Rothman notes the silliness of it all (here) as he steps in between Ross Brown and Alan Shimel who were cloggin up the digital highway, spewing non-relevant toxins into the air, and basically making all the “readers” who are interested in real security insight look elsewhere, of course there are the Howard Stern types that love this type of thing.

So to those who go around pointing out the flaws in others without presenting it in a respectful manner and without actually providing any insight should ask themselves wwjd? I suppose he would ask you “Let him without sin cast the first stone”


10 thoughts on “Blog Bullying…

  1. Waaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    (That’s me going off and crying in the corner after being bullied.)

    Seriously, dude… completely agreed. One of the reasons I posted that post was to point out all of the noise going on. The other reason was to point out that there’s a tendency in the blogosphere to be self-referential – we end up stuck in loops… one person blogs about something, and then others pile on to whatever the topic is.

    Much like, if, for example, someone were to post something really pissy about how the other blogs are acting, and then somebody else posted about it, too.

    (Let’s see how many others get caught up in our meme transmission…)

    BTW – last time I was at Dave’s, the waitress remembered me, and asked where you were…


  2. Pingback: Matasano Chargen » If Alan Shimel Is A Bully, Why Doesn’t Lockdown Stand Up To Him?

  3. Amrit- point well taken. Actually the Ross Brown stuff did get out of control and Ross and I have communicated off line on this. On the other stuff though, that is what blogging is, putting your 2 cents into whatever you would like. BTW, nothing I say on the blog is any different than I would say in person to someone. I realize I am not without warts and faults, neither is StillSecure. In fact if anyone comments on any of the posts I write, I make sure to post them and often call them out. However, what you may not be getting is that these posts are not personal attacks but calling out what I see as things that are wrong or I want to comment on. Look at Greg Toto’s comments on my blog which I responded to as an example. But Amrit, I do think that blogging is about this. I think the security blogs you cite, are tame compared to some of the political blogs out there.

  4. No Alan, I think folks like you can bring more to the table than calling out others issues, it is amusing though. I also think that if you must point out issues with others you do not need to call them out and make them look silly, which you have done in some cases – I would argue that you would not talk to Toto or Brown like you did in a face to face meeting.

    And as far as comparing security blogging to politics and saying it is tame, that is like comparing a Compton street gang to a couple of 3rd graders wearing the sames shoes.

  5. Amrit- you got me on this one. I am not familiar with a Compton St gang, but I gather it is a tough area? I think I will be seeing Toto pretty soon and we will see how it goes.

  6. My father, Izzy Kalman, offers an excellent, free manual to help stop being teased and bullied:

    If you are having doubts about its effectiveness, here is an article that tells of a hopeless mother of a bullying victim who finally turned to my father’s free manual to seek help for her son, and watched his bullying problems disappear instantly:

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