Bad Behavior In The WordPress Community

It started off with a link and turned into something disgusting. KevinJohn Gallagher explained the various reasons for why his company decided not to pursue using WordPress anymore for their clients and I linked to that article because I thought it raised some points that were good for discussion. After I linked to the article on WPTavern as well as Twitter, his article made the front page of HackerNews. ReadWrite/Web also linked to the article with their own thoughts. One of the reactions to his article that I witnessed was that a lot of people agreed with Kevin and the points he made. However, a number of people disagreed with him and in fact, disagreed so passionately that KevinJohn stated within the comments of my article that he had received death threats as well as had DDoS attacks performed to his website.

Sadly in the last 7 days I’ve had 3 ddos attacks, 14 threats (4 “credible”) against myself or my family, multiple requests to have me removed from speaking at WordPress events to which I’m already signed up and personally sponsor, and 31 people roll-back their purchase for Open Source Scotland because I’m involved. All because my staff, not me, but the good folks I work with every day, don’t want want to use WordPress anymore. I’m being punished by this community, for doing the right thing: listening to my colleagues and my clients.

On the one hand, this is ridiculous behaviour. There is no reason what so ever to give someone death threats because their company has decided not to use WordPress anymore. Mark Jaquith was strongly opposed to the harassment Kevin was receiving and even Jane Wells offered to help out KevinJohn.

On the other hand, crazy people exist within the realm of reality and they can not be controlled. Most of the conversation that occurred as the result of Kevin’s article were from sane individuals that make up the WordPress community. It’s unfortunate what Keven had to go through because of that post but I strongly disagree that it’s a reflection of how the actual WordPress community is like. There are pricks and jerks within the WordPress community, no doubt about that. But, in my experience the nicer people far outweigh the jerks.

I’m a big fan of WordPress but I’m not going to cry myself to sleep if someone tells me they are ditching the software for something else. It’s common sense to use the best tool for the job instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole. It’s important to listen to the reasons why people switch from WordPress or desert the software but it’s not something anyone should lose sleep over. It’s definitely not worth threatening someone’s life. It’s an opportunity to learn and figure out how the software can be improved. This is the type of attitude we should have towards folks like KevinJohn Gallagher or others that publish their discontent for WordPress. We shouldn’t be slapping people around with an elitist, cult like hand that twitches every time someone criticizes the software. We are better than that. Let’s prove it.

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