We're vulnerable in 2007. Not just the writers or actors or public figures out there, all of us. So much of what we have, think, or do is available for public scrutiny. A discussion on DorothyL brings this home. Several writers are enduring the harrassment of stalkers.
Then there's the problem of websites and blogs that allow people to post comments, sometimes anonymously. Even if the site does not allow anonymous comments, it's easy to circumvent this by setting up multiple gmail accounts.
How can we protect ourselves from this? Is it fair to give a forum to commenters who will not identify themselves? What's to stop someone from setting up a blog or website that engages in dirty tricks, scurrilous remarks? Nothing that I can see.
How public should we be? Should we answer emails from strangers claiming they liked our story, our book, our comment? Where should the line be drawn?
As the Internet draws us all closer, can we still keep an arm's length from people who wish us ill?