Trigger warning: Violence against women, homophobia and fat-shaming.
Friday morning I woke up to find I’d received my first internet death threat. It was in response to my blog post about accountability. I’m posting the contents of the entire message below so that others have an idea of the kind garbage others and I have to endure when we choose to speak on social justice issues.
Unfortunately, the commenter was used an IP anonymizer, so there is no way to determine their identity. Is it a colleague or a total stranger? There’s no way to know.
Here’s the comment. Consider the trigger warning above before you decide whether or not to read on.
Jesus stop whining you stupid dyke. No one gives a shit what you think, and if you keep attention whoring like this you’re going to end up with your fat throat slit if one of us can manage to find a knife deep enough to penetrate your layers of blubber.
Point is, you’re just a useless, loudmouthed lesbian. Personally, I think you should consider leaving Mozilla or better yet do the world (and your parents) a favor and kill yourself already. You’re worthless fat waste of space and posting this garbage does nothing to promote Mozilla’s image. Grab an ounce of self-worth and delete your shitty blog, cunt.
I’ve known for a long time that those who speak out about anti-oppression and other social justice issues receive death threats. I now know first-hand how unsettling it is to be on the receiving end of such threats. It’s made me re-think my habit of checking email first thing in the morning before I’m fully awake an functional. What it hasn’t done is discouraged me from talking about these issues. If anything, being the target of such speech is just a reminder about how important it is for those of us in marginalized groups to be visible and to be heard when we feel we are able to do so.
Update 8 October 12:19: A couple of people have asked me to post the email headers and IP address of the person who left the comment. Unfortunately, it was left as a comment via WordPress so I don’t have email headers. What I do have is the IP address and reverse lookup as captured by Apache and WordPress software: IP: 22.214.171.124, tor18.anonymizer.ccc.de. It’s my understanding that there is no way to track the identity of someone who has used Tor, but I’m happy to share my Apache logs with anyone who thinks they might be able to get some more info from them. Also, the person gave the email address “email@example.com,” but I assume that is not their own because why use Tor and then give your real email?