I worked at Origin, back in the early days when UO had a huge Player Killing problem. We would have polls asking how many players they thought were die-hard player killers (had red names and passed a couple other criteria). The response was usually in the realm of 10%. In reality, the number was less than 1% – player perception was off by somewhere between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude. It’s just that this tiny, tiny percentage of people has a massive, massive effect on the perceptions of civility and security of that online community.
The next time that you feel like saying ‘not all men…’, keep in mind – it takes ONE asshole to make a comment that is so foul and disgusting it makes a woman want to leave a community or a gay developer fear for his life. So stop feeling defensive about it, understand that the person talking has probably encountered some very real shit and isn’t talking about you, and instead devote that righteous anger to putting up an aura of nontolerance for assholish behavior. Apologize if you fuck up and go too far. And have the courage to call out douchebag behavior when you see it for what it is.
–Damion Schubert, of BioWare, on the problem with assholes.