Its coming to the point now that someone being a personality on the Internet isn’t safe anymore from being physically attacked. I’m referring to, of course to Jeremy Hambly, aka “The Quartering” who was viciously attacked in a bar while attending Gen Con, a conference on gaming.
I’d never heard of him before I woke up this morning and saw a tweet in my timeline (H/T MrDragonBeard) about the incident. I had no idea what Gen Con was, until I looked it up. I really am unsure exactly why the attack occurred other than maybe, because as I discovered, he has a very popular YouTube channel and that some video(s) there upset his attacker to the point where a physical confrontation was for some crazy reason, the only option that the other guy felt was appropriate.
This is gaming, folks. I only viewed 2 of his short videos but in those I never heard him say anything that I would have taken offense to of course, I’m not a gamer. There may have been other videos where Jeremy impugned the character of someone else. Even if that were true, is it a reason to commit a violent act? Of course not.
This is the state of being online today. I don’t think I need to worry because this blog is not that big and I’m also not that well followed on social media. But for those that are, it seems a bit scary to me now that something said online could lead to a physical confrontation by an anonymous person.
I’m not calling for anyone, popular or not to moderate any stance they may have on any topic, with the exception that there should never be a call for violence against anyone. We all have strong opinions in certain areas, and we may even despise those on the other side of the question; none of that gives anyone the right to threaten or commit acts of violence.
Although this appears to be a one-off attack, in other words, the person was focused on a single guest and not others at the conference, how does it look for these events? Many, if not most already have security in place at the conference itself, but there’s nothing the conference organizers can do when it comes to something taking place outside the conference.
Having a controversial opinion on the Internet may make someone a target for an unbalanced person. We’ve already seen this in politics.
We all need to call out those that would try to intimidate or make veiled threats against someone else based on what they think. We don’t want to become a society where those we disagree with are harassed to the extent of being silenced in fear of their safety.
One of us might be the next victim.