Yes, Kathy Sierra should be able to post without being harassed. Yes, this is about more than one individual being stalked - it's about preventing vicious, illegal gender harassment.
No, Tim O'Reilly's proposed blogger code of ethics does not make a damn bit of sense.
I am not taking responsibility for the comments people leave in my blogs. I will allow anonymous comments. And I think the whole idea is silly and totally inappropriate.
The appropriate response is to go after Kathy's harassers and subject them to the criminal penalties they have already earned themselves by breaking the law. We already have cops to take care of this thing. That's what they're for.
I don't know if Tim O'Reilly's on some kind of power trip, or freaking out due to panic, or what, but his proposed code is just twenty different kinds of wrong. First, blogging as a community is too diverse for the code ever to reach critical mass. Most bloggers will never even hear about it. Second, what Kathy's harassers did is already in violation of the law, and when systems exist to handle problems, creating new systems to handle the same problem is redundant -- and additionally useless, when you consider that a voluntary code of conduct is a toothless system compared to a system which subjects harassers to legal penalties, including the possibility of jail time. What Tim's proposing is not even a failover system, it's just a totally meaningless add-on. It's like adding lines of code which increment a variable to a program that already works, and then not even doing anything with the incremented variable. It's busywork.
You can't fault him for wanting to help one of his writers, and you can't fault anyone for wanting to be sure things like that never happen, but the proposed solution is so utterly unrealistic that it shouldn't be considered anything but a display of emotion. Can't fault the emotion itself, but when he calms down a little, I think even Tim will see how ridiculous his suggestion is.