Blogs, insults, and suicide

Reaction to the death of ad exec Paul Tilley runs the gamut, from those who blame bloggers to others who exonerate them, with a broader conversation on the ethics of online commentary.

The suicide of a 40-year-old ad agency executive has reignited the debate over the extent to which blog posts targeting a person can be held accountable in that person's death. Paul Tilley, creative director of DDB Chicago, who oversaw, among other things, Dell's "dude" ad campaign, had been the subject of harsh comments--including some posted anonymously--on the advertising blogs Agency Spy and AdScam.

Reaction to Tilley's death runs the gamut, from those who blame the bloggers to others who exonerate them, with a broader conversation on the ethics and rules of online commentary. In that, it gives a strong echo of the reaction to the suicide late last year of 13-year-old Megan Meier, who had been the subject of a MySpace.com hoax .

Read more at The New York Times: "After Suicide, Blog Insults Are Debated"

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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