SXSW: The Perils of Being Internet Famous

Death threats. Suspicious packages. Marriage proposals. Haters.

These are the perils of being “Internet famous,” according to a panel of self-proclaimed Internet celebrities at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival.

“There are downsides to being Internet famous,” said Ana Marie Cox, who became famous for her blogging at Wonkette and is now famous for her political coverage on Twitter. “Be careful what you wish for.”

Of course, famous is a relative term. Ben Huh, CEO of I Can Has Cheezburger, which is known for pictures of cats with funny captions, joked that he is only recognized on the street by cats that try to rub up against him.

The more disturbing interactions tend to come online. Christian Lander, author of “Stuff White People Like,” said he stopped reading the comments on his blog because they were too upsetting. “It can make you want to quit sometimes,” he said. “Every day I’m being told how an awful a writer I am and how terrible I am, and every time I see them I feel bad. So I had to stop reading the comments.”

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