More than one person suggested I was advocating a policy of "shut-up and take it, or step away". To a point... yeah. I suppose I was, except in extreme cases.
I think it is an occupational hazard for anyone with a career that takes them online, and brings them into contact with their audience. Look at the comments section on any mainstream news website. The levels of abuse are horrific. Or, if you're Katie Hopkins, a massive turn-on, presumably...
Do I think that's right though, that people have to tolerate that just for doing their job? No. I hate it. It's wrong, but... it's people, and a lot of people are messed up enough or angry enough to want to ruin someone else's day, purely for their own entertainment. Or because they disagree with you, or think you're somehow criticising them personally.
But still... when we write a blog post, or a website article, it's worth considering our voices are louder than the voices of our audience. We're the headline act, in the spotlight. Never underestimate the impact of a logo or a brand: there's a massive power imbalance.
Our words carry more weight. I think there's something complex going on for some of our readers, who are - in their own messed-up way - trying to redress that imbalance. Maybe.. they'e trying to match the volume of our voices, but doing it with aggressive language
Thing is though, I accept that I might be wrong about all that... and I don't even know why.
I don't know about everyone else, but as I get older I realise that the world isn't how I saw it when I was younger.
Back then, everything was simple. No shades of grey. I knew what I believed, I knew how to fix any problem, I knew who was good and who was bad.
Now, nothing seems so straightforward. There are no quick fixes.
The system we live in breeds us to fail, to feel worthless, so we continue to strive away from that. Work harder and harder. The ground behind you is splitting, cracking, catching you up, and you need to keep running to keep from being swallowed up.
It's a grand lie, that we're brainwashed into believing from the day we are born.
I mean, I've come to see why the world favours its young. Their energy is a resource - but more than that, their willingness to comply, without questioning exactly what underpins our whole society, is beyond valuable. At the risk of sounding like some Bolshevik - that's Capitalism, comrade.
Kotaku's editor Keza MacDonald dropped me a line on Twitter following my article - and I hope she doesn't mind me writing about this - suggesting that ignoring any abuse is merely going to mask the problem, and doesn't move towards a solution.
I respect Keza. I think that what she's done at Kotaku is brilliant. More than that, she's a woman in a field that is notorious for its misogyny... and she's still standing.
I don't know what it's like to be a woman online. I don't know what it's like to be black, gay, trans, or Albanian. My frame of reference is my own, and when people with their own frame of reference say something that counters mine... It's worth listening to. Particularly if they're not an idiot.
But... I don't know. All I know is what worked for me, and as I've gotten older I've become less selfish in many ways, more compassionate... while simultaneously picking the path of least resistance, for the sake of a quiet life and my own sanity. I've become more insular, bringing the wagon train into a protective circle around my family.
I've learned to choose my battles, because so many battles I fought in the past felt un-winnable. This feels like one of those. But maybe it isn't. Maybe it's just a fight that I don't want a part of, because I'm middle-aged. I've fought my wars, and feel like I've earned some down time.
And maybe I just am plain wrong. I mean, it wouldn't be the first time, amazingly.
So when I suggest that someone might want to ignore their internet harassers, or step away... that's not offering a solution to the problem as a whole.
I don't have a solution to that problem. I'm not entirely sure anyone else does either. I just see a whole lot of frustration and impotent rage.
What I am offering is a way through it, for people who aren't coping with it. It's a proven method, that I know about... because it worked for me.
It's simply a solution that might work for the individual, rather than the collective.
Looking back, given where I was at when I got my harassment and stalking, it was clearly the only thing that was going to work. I had to step back to give me a chance to recover, and take stock.
Again, it's my frame of reference, my POV. Ultimately, it's all I have, all any of us have. I don't want anybody else to go through it. Sometimes you have to retreat from the frontline, because sticking your head above the trenches and going "Yoo-hoo!", or firing back, is merely going to get you shot at all the more.
But I say all this with one caveat: everything I write about on Digitiser2000, everything I think, anything I ever say... might be wrong. And everything you think might be wrong too. And that's ok. These are just opinions. Some more informed than others, some coming from the gut - our "felt sense" - some because we're prejudiced in some way.
I'm 44 years-old, and with every passing year I realise how little I know about the world, about people. All I can ever be an expert on is my own corner of the universe, my own psyche. And half the time, that's as much a mystery to me as anything else is.
The enormity of it causes me to shrink my focus down to things that matter, things that I can deal with. The small, day-to-day, problems. It's easier to hug one person than the entire world; my arms are only so long.
What matters to me as far as online harassment goes, is ensuring people aren't being driven out of their minds by their bullies. "Step away" is surrendering for the sake of a person's sanity, not a solution to the whole problem - and, again, it's based upon personal experience.
If you want to fight the good fight - if you're not yet too bruised to continue - please go ahead. You have nothing but my respect, and best wishes. Who knows... you might even be doing the right thing?