Blogs are supposed to be a conversation, but sometimes the robust exchange of opinions they trigger develop into something far more unpleasant, even frightening.
That was the case for computer programmer Kathy Sierra who was targeted with death threats in anonymous posts to a number of websites.
And that, in turn, led web guru Tim O'Reilly to try to draft a code of conduct for bloggers in which civility of debate would be an enforced standard.
It could never work, of course. You might just as well try to regulate discourse around the globe, though if you were intent on making headway you could usefully start with school playgrounds or the top decks of buses.
The world is full of snarling, angry, aggressive people and the web is no different. Happily they're outnumbered by reasonable, decent, fair-minded folk who hold to standards of tolerant behaviour that aren't codified by rulebooks, however well-meaning the boundary-setters might be.
Where the web does differ is the cloak of anonymity it affords people who mount attacks on others, who use a tone and language they would never adopt in a face-to-face discussion (well, all but the most aggressive).
Another web guru, Jeff Jarvis, deals with anonymous posts to his Buzz Machine blog this way: "I will not give full respect and credence to things said by people who do not have the balls to stand behind their words.
"When people complain that I’m trying to get rid of the anonymous nature of the web, I say no, I wouldn’t do that. I’m simply telling you the way I judge your words when you’re too chicken to put your name on them."
And he goes on to say that he reserves the right to kill comments that are abusive, off-topic or irritating.
In this way he is setting the tone around the conversations he strikes up. And in this way the best blogs are self-regulating; the people involved in the conversation set the boundaries.
Shane Richmond, the Telegraph's online news editor sums this up neatly: "Communities filled with abusive, insensitive boors who won't listen to reason tend to become very small communities in short order as everybody heads elsewhere."
In a world of political correctness there are few places where people can vent their true feelings and codes of conduct to try to limit them are mistaken.
We need a place where people can sound off - and an opportunity for their opinions to be examined, debated and explored by others.
Let's cherish the reasoned, passionate debaters and leave the boors to their echo chamber.