I almost agree with this, but not quite.
It’s all very well to suggest we might all be nice to children:
“Making fun of people has become a part of our culture, and I’m not expecting to change that. But I am sincerely asking that everybody stop with the kids – and I mean all kids, from Justin Bieber to Rebecca Black.”
Apparently Rebecca Black is a kid who had a song recorded, didn’t do it well, and wound up on the receiving end of tons and tons of vicious hatemail and derision. That is ugly and I hope everyone who participated felt at least a little uncomfortable with the pile-on even while posting, and ashamed afterward.
“This is a person who just wanted to have their book out there and has the same hopes and dreams as any other writer. Some rude Internet behavior negates all of that? People will ridicule her and scorch the Earth and trash what this author has built in the name of teaching a lesson?”
Jacqueline Howett behaved not just like an idiot, and not just like a rude thin-skinned idiot . . . she behaved like an unbalanced person. It’s a pity that hundreds or thousands of people thought the appropriate response to this was to form a mob. And it wasn’t any nicer because she’s an adult.