Harassment of our Authors is Not OK
Dinah Davis

I haven’t read all 100+ responses, so pardon me if I’m going over old ground.

In addition to the lessons about the dangers of being female online — and especially in tech — this can also be taken as a lesson in how to take care of yourself as a public persona (which is what you become when you become a published writer).

I don’t mean to imply that the young woman in question would have avoided unwanted attention if she’d only done x, y, or z. That kind of victim blaming is ten thousand colors of bulls — t. However, it does point out the importance of maintaining some kind of separation between one’s public and private spaces (for example, linking to one’s private Facebook account from a “professional” public post).

And I also don’t mean that as some kind of old man’s “damn kids today” sort of criticism. I’m plenty older than 16 and I still have to watch that boundary, especially as my professional life in tech publishing and my personal fascination with code overlap more and more. It can be far too easy to post something on a personal Twitter account, tag it with a professional hastag, and then follow it up with a much-too-informal tweet about politics or music or even the best diner in Elk Grove, Oklahoma.

Of course, as an old white dude, my margin for error is miles wider than that for a 16-year-old woman, but it still matters. As this guy’s story shows.

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