Can’t we just grow up?

Michael Arrington

It was with sadness what that I read that Michael Arrington has decided to take a leave of absence after he was physically abused in the street. In his post he also talks about other confrontations he’s had over his success with TechCrunch including having his life, that of his family and his staff threatened by a nutter. Arrington has decided to take some time off to focus on what his priorities are and have a long hard think about where he wants to be.

I don’t really have any strong feelings for the man, I don’t know him, or his work enough to comment on them, but it’s just unfair when people react to someone’s success or perceived power by attacking them, whether it is verbally or physically. It’s one thing to recommend a fat guy loses some weight for example, but throwing a box of weight loss pills at him is a definite no-no. The whole experience is reminiscent of Kathy Sierra’s exit from the blogging world after receiving death threats. It’s such a shame to see quality people exit because of the way they are treated by others. Can’t we just all grow up?


  1. Hey Owen,

    Actually I have to disagree with you. This is not at all like the Kathy Sierra case. As someone that has been personally attacked, by name, by Michael Arrington, I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for the guy. He has gone out of his way in the past to insult people, to almost short sell startups into collapse (courtesy of his ‘dead pool’ predictions) and to launch incredibly scathing attacks on people that really aren’t based on fact.

    For example, in my case, he wrote a nice piece of TechCrunch accusing me of insulting a job candidate who I had never ever actually spoken to at all. Of course in Izea/PayPerPost’s past he has had no qualms at calling various people in the company “evil”, “satanic” and “immoral”.

    If you run around saying enough offensive, derogatory and insulting things about people ultimately you’re risking bringing a hell of a lot of crap down on yourself.

    It is bad that he had someone stalking him, and I feel for his family there. That’s not a nice thing at all, and quite over the top. But for getting spat on in public? Please – I fully expected someone to smack him in the face by now.

  2. @Pete: Thanks for the comment. I don’t really know much about the guy so thanks for adding some more insight into the debate. I was linking the two with respect to the death threats. Forcing someone to live in fear of their life and imposing that on their loved ones is definitely where I draw a line.

    Certainly, one of the uglier downsides of being the public eye I guess!

  3. I’m with Pete on this one; stalking and death threats are way ove the top, but it’s no real shock that Arrington has become a target – as far as I’ve ever been able to tell, he’s never had a good word to say about anyone and that sort of attitude always turns round and bites you in the arse sooner or later.

  4. Thanks for the post. It is sad to see so many people are uncivil and intolerant. Fine, disagree with people, but do it with some class and without physical threats.

  5. Whatever the circumstances, it seems ridiculous that something so insignificant as a single person’s views on technology and business causes such extreme reactions.

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