The other day while attending a Meetup event I had a discussion with a well known blogger, writer, internet personality when he began talking about some hate ‘mail’ he had been receiving via twitter. Apparently someone had read several of his blog posts, disliked them, and decided to express their anger via twitter.
I started talking with the blogger and I began to wonder if bloggers are perhaps too accessible via the web. Think about it like this: if an editor or journalist writes a story that you disagree with the best you can do is write the paper and hope an editor prints the letter you wrote. In the end the person who wrote the story is most likely the gate keeper on any criticism that posted about their work.
Bloggers however open themselves to personal attack by the very nature of the medium that they work on. Bloggers pride themselves on their accessibility and their connection with their readers. This presents and interesting problem for the blogger.
How much is he or she willing to say in their blog if they must fear reprisal from their readers.This reprisal also brings up the point of harassment vs criticism and if a blogger can be criticized without being harassed. I have been exposed to both criticism of journalists and criticism of bloggers.
I have to say the criticisms of bloggers are much more personal than that of journalists. When someone criticizes a journalist the attack is often on the journalist’s ideas. When someone attacks a blogger, they often attack the blogger personally.
As more and more people enter the social world as bloggers and online personalities the attacks of ideas and ideals will begin to become more frequent. While bloggers are making themselves public figures by entering the public arena, should there be some form of blogger protection?
Should bloggers have to fear public reprisal of their opinions or should we find a way to have stronger journalist style protections for them? Have you as a blogger or an social entity ever faced harassment via a reader? What was you story? I would like to know.