I wasn't really sure which category this belongs in. I thought it might belong in "Techno-quette", but basically what it boils down to is defamation of character.
I'm sort of watching an online situation snowball. Author1 and Author2 are having one doozy of a virtual catfight, and there is rudeness on both sides, but I very much sympathize with Author1. I knew her online before I even knew she was published. I've voiced my support to her, but this is one scrap I know better than to get in the middle of.
Basically, Author1 left a short book review that Author2 didn't like, Author2 posted a huge public blog naming Author1 by her given name (in bold print the first time, no less.). Author1 did not take it well and verbally retaliated, which Author2 has responded to, and I'm sure this isn't the end of it. This whole thing seems like something that could harm both of their images; neither of them is coming out unmuddied.
I'm sort of wondering how prevalent author slamming is. Aren't people allowed to express their opinions anymore? Author2's behavior strikes me as being mean-spirited, cowardly, and nasty, and the general tone of her public blog was, "How dare you criticize me!". And, as nasty as she is, I fear that Author1 might be playing with fire. I really want to tell her to stop responding to Author2 altogether, but she's so angry I doubt she'd listen. She's both engaging the crazy and becoming the crazy. I'm finding it hard to stay away from this one, because I'm friendly with Author1 and angry on her behalf.
Should I just keep my head down, and let them duke it out?