After Brian Leiter shared my post about women in philosophy, which resulted in a lot of traffic, my blog was hacked and made inaccessible by some asshole. Of course, it could be a coincidence, but I find it hard to believe that, a few hours after the most widely read philosophy blog shared that post, some random person just decided to hack my blog for a totally unrelated reason. I knew that what I say in that post would be controversial, but I honestly never imagined that someone would do something like that. Fortunately, I made sure that a backup was made every day, so I didn’t lose any content. (As Joseph Heller famously said, just because I’m paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.) But it made the blog inaccessible for several hours and, had I not taken precautions, I would have lost 6 months of work. If I’m right about what happened, this is really deplorable. I can’t even begin to understand how anyone can think that it’s legitimate to destroy someone’s work just because he wrote something they disagree with. It’s also remarkable that, even though I wrote about many controversial topics in the past, nobody ever hacked my blog until I wrote about women in philosophy. Again, it could be a coincidence, but it seems extremely unlikely. If you don’t like what I write, you can always criticize it, but I would appreciate if we could maintain some basic standard of decency in that debate.
EDIT: A friend pointed out to me that, while it seems unlikely that some random person would have decided to hack my relatively confidential website just after my post on women in philosophy was shared to a wide audience, it’s also unlikely that someone who actually cares about this would know how to hack a website. I agree that both hypotheses seem extremely unlikely and it’s difficult to determine which is more unlikely, so I figured that I should add a note to acknowledge that, since I don’t want to jump to conclusions. I’m pretty upset that someone did that, so it’s hard to think with a clear head.
ANOTHER EDIT: As I said on Facebook, it could also be the Russians, since according to the media they are responsible for everything bad in the world.
YET ANOTHER EDIT: This website is now using SSL, which should make it more secure, although I have no idea whether it would have prevented the attack. Because of the way in which Facebook’s API works, which is pretty dumb, I have lost the share count on my posts but I guess it’s not a big deal.