“A note about boundaries“. I said I’d start covering Anthony Watts posts on WUWT again tomorrow, but this post by Anthony was too ironic to pass over. Anthony is complaining that a critic intruded into his personal life! Oh, the hypocrisy.
I certainly support the principle that people’s personal lives are private. I am without question a very small fish in a large pond, but already in the short life of this website I’ve experienced intrusive activity by denialists that could be characterized as attempts to intimidate or discredit me (OMG, I have a facebook account! With friends!). Unless the topic is religion, for example, a person’s religious convictions are irrelevant. Does it really matter how big Al Gore’s house is?
If Anthony’s description of this particular person’s behavior is accurate (a big if) then they’ve definitely crossed the line. Challenging a denialist in a public forum, whether online or at a relevant public event, is legitimate (that if fact is the purpose of this website) but accosting them outside of that context is not.
Unfortunately Anthony Watts has made a habit of prying into the lives of his opponents and “researching” people making critical comments on his blog. He’s also been quick to publish e-mail and postal addresses of scientists or journalists he doesn’t like to enable his followers to harass them. It seems to me that Anthony’s own comfort with skipping over the line when it suits him diminishes the legitimacy of his protestations about privacy.