This is going to sound a bit strange and unnecessary, but bear with me.
We unfortunately live in an age of cowardly internet bullying, hacking, internet stalking, and similar despicable behaviors. In the social media sphere, many people join “tribes” based around a personality or issue, and oftentimes people get some kind of catharsis out of venting their hate on their enemies or at the outrage of the week. If you want to see how insane things have become, just try leaving a negative comment on a video put out by a popular Youtube star and wait for the torrent of abuse to rain down upon you. This is just a small fraction of the amount of hate that can be generated online.
I’m writing this because recently I learned that there is a possibility that what I thought was an innocuous tweet a long time ago may have been seized upon by some social media users, who allegedly decided to harass that individual in real life with threatening behavior. I doubt that the behavior was specifically triggered by my tweet (which certainly didn’t condone anything of the sort), and for all I know the individual could be mistaken as to whether I had anything to do with what happened, but as long as their is even the slightest possibility that someone used something I wrote to aid in the harassment of others, I have to speak out against it because that is the right thing to do, and because many years ago I myself was the victim of an internet stalker who could have caused me serious problems. Though I managed to resolve that situation, you cannot know how unpleasant an experience even that can be, even without having anonymous people call you and harass you.
On Twitter and on this blog I have often criticized many public figures and their ideas. I would hope that my readers would be smart and decent enough not to take this criticism as a license to go engage in immoral and often illegal acts against such people. If you also have a problem with what they write, keep your arguments online and in the open. And if you are a fan of this blog, realize that you are doing me no favors by engaging such behavior on my account. But again, I’m really hoping that none of my readers are the type of person who would do so in the first place. That being said, I’ve often had a problem with overestimating people’s decency and competence. Also when you have a growing audience, it’s only inevitable that you begin to acquire fanboys who live vicariously through your brand and make it part of their identity. Such impressionable types are usually the sort that engage in doxxing, brigading, etc.
I hope that all this was a totally unnecessary precaution. I hope that my readers are smart enough not to engage in this kind of craven behavior and that the sick individuals who caused these victims such anguish had never seen what I wrote, but rather found their victims through other publicly available information. But solely because that remote possibility exists, I felt compelled to write this statement and I already apologized to the victims for the harm they suffered at the hands of anonymous cowards with no conscience or basic decency.