No Fair! You Hit Me Back!

One of the tactics used to attempt to silence criticism on the Internet is a letter from a lawyer threatening a lawsuit. Ken at Popehat has a great post about one lawyer’s surprise when the targeted blogger didn’t just roll over. (H/T, @anexconsview)

The balance of power has shifted as the Internet has given access to a bully pulpit (as Teddy Roosevelt would call it) to anyone with a blogging account, even bush league blogs like this one, and is making the life of the other kind of bullies more difficult. Good.

Lawyers need to learn the lesson of the motto on the masthead of this website: Never pick a fight with a man who buys pixels by the terabyte.

UPDATE–The title of this post comes from the response I heard from a bully when I was a kid. My birthday is New Year’s Eve. Until a kid skipped a grade, I was always the youngest and usually the smallest kid in my class. I experienced my share of bullying, and my response was always to stand up to the bully. When I was physically attacked, my response was to beat up the bully. Bullies consider beatings from their targets to be grossly unfair.

I still believe in standing up to bullies, but I want to second Ken’s advice. Stay legal. Don’t engage in threats or harassment yourself. Don’t encourage others to threaten or harass. Get legal help if necessary. Call the cops if appropriate. Rely on telling the truth.