We get the behaviour we design for
Personal attacks. Nasty comments aimed at individuals. I see it a lot, and most of the time, I've not done anything about it. I've not felt comfortable confronting the people doing it.
I've been gradually feeling less safe working in this industry, the comments have been getting nastier, the attacks have been getting crueller. But something recently hit a nerve, and I realised that by not doing something about it, I'm part of the problem.
Next time you see someone getting shit, don't join in. Don't sit back and watch. Take the person who's doing it to one side, and tell them that you don't think their behaviour is appropriate. I believe we've all got a responsibility to make the industry a safe and welcoming place to those who want to contribute.
Every day that we accept bad behaviour, that we tell people it's part and parcel of writing or doing talks, we make the community more hostile for newcomers. We create an atmosphere that is toxic to anyone except those with the thickest skin. Every time we ignore it, we set a precendent, a message that this is ok. This is not ok.