VIOLET BLUE

author | journalist | editor | advisor | educator | agitator

An author, editor and journalist on hacking, privacy, sexuality and critical issues that affect at-risk populations, Violet Blue is known for being outspoken and controversial.

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The London Times named Blue "one of the 40 bloggers who really count.”

"One of the leading figures in tech writing in the world - Violet Blue." -Clarissa Smith, Guardian UK

"Superstar sex writer - Violet Blue." -Dan Savage

"Violet Blue is omnipresent on the Web." –Forbes

"America’s leading (very) public intellectual sexologist, Violet Blue." -The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

"Violet Blue is the leading sex educator for the Internet generation." -Webnation

Violet Blue

Ms. Violet Blue (@violetblue) is an investigative tech reporter for Engadget, ZDNet, and CBS News, as well as an award-winning sex author and columnist. In addition, her journalism resume includes seeing her byline on CNN, The San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, MacLife, O The Oprah Magazine, CNET, Playboy, Penthouse, Bizarre, and many other magazines and websites.

She travels to hacker conferences and hacker gatherings around the world to cover hacking, cybercrime and personal privacy violations in countries such as Malaysia, Germany, Morocco, China, the Dominican Republic, the United States, and Serbia. In 2012, Blue presented “Hackers as a High-Risk Population” bringing harm reduction to the featured stage for CCC’s 29c3 hacker conference in Hamburg (video here).

Blue was first to break the news on CISPA (for CNET), as well as many other breaking stories involving hacktivist entity Anonymous (she broke the Federal Bank hack on Zero Day), the Snapchat hack, another piece exposed Facebook for tampering with users’ mobile phone address books, Blue revealed the United Nation’s duplicity and objectives via its ITU regulation arm to make back-room deals with China, Russia and other oppressive governments to seize Internet governance and establish human rights violating surveillance procedures, and much more.

She is an Advisor to Without My Consent, a Member of the Internet Press Guild, a Member of the Center for Investigative Reporting, and is an Editor on the Board for Routledge's Porn Studies Journal. Blue is a member of both The Internet Press Guild and The Center for Investigative Reporting, and is an Advisor at Without My Consent.

Blue is an often-censored educator, speaker, crisis counselor (and seasoned counselor trainer). She leads intensive, immersive media crisis trainings for UCSF's Global Health Program, and its NGO trainings that include volunteers from Doctors Without Borders and The American Red Cross.

Forbes and Oprah Winfrey have both called her podcast (Open Source Sex) "One of the Internet's most popular podcasts." Blue titled her podcast "Open Source Sex" for the intersection of technology and sex, and the free-flowing information exchange of the open source software movement.

She has authored and edited over 40 books, including five (Bronze, Silver and Gold) award-winners, some of which are now in eight translations. Her book on women and pornography is excerpted and featured on Oprah Winfrey's website, as well as in Oprah's magazine, and Violet went on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about her book, with Oprah. She was the San Francisco Chronicle's sex columnist for four years until resigning over the newspaper's attempt to re-edit her writing for SEO optimization that she deemed offensive to her interview subjects.

Awards and Honors:

* Best Sex Educator 2013, San Francisco Weekly
* Silver Medal Book Award 2011, Second Place - Sexuality/Relationships, Independent Publisher Book Awards, All National Categories (The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus 2nd. Ed.)
* Self-published book "Fetish Sex" #5 bestseller on Amazon (Human Sexuality; December 30, 2011)
* The 40 Bloggers Who Really Matter (London Times, 2010)
* Sex Writer of the Year (Examiner.com, 2009/2010)
* Gold Medal Book Award 2010, First Place - Erotica, Independent Publisher Book Awards, All National Categories (Sweet Love, 2010)
* Named "The Best Violet Blue" (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 2010)
* Best Sex Blog / Best Sex Blogger (San Francisco Weekly, 2010)
* "Lust" #1 bestseller on Amazon (Erotica; July 20, 2009)
* Best Online Sex Resource for Women: TinyNibbles.com (Self Magazine, 2009)
* Best Sex Writer (San Francisco Guardian, 2009 Reader's Poll)
* Playboy's Hottest Female Bloggers (2008)
* Wired's 25 Faces Of Innovation (2008)
* Bronze Medal Book Award, Third Place 2007, - Sexuality/Relationships, Independent Publisher Book Awards, All National Categories (The Smart Girl’s Guide to Porn)
* Gold Medal Book Award, First Place 2007- Erotica, Independent Publisher Book Awards, All National Categories (Best Women’s Erotica)
* Forbes Web Celeb 25 (2007)
* Gold Medal Book Award, First Place 2006 - Erotica, Independent Publisher Book Awards, All National Categories (Best Women’s Erotica)
* Wired's Ten Sexiest Geeks (Wired Magazine, 2005)

Violet Blue has given keynote talks at such conferences as ETech, LeWeb, and the Forbes Brand Leadership Conference, she received a standing ovation at Seattle’s Gnomedex, and has given two Tech Talks at Google. Blue is regularly interviewed, quoted, and has been featured in a variety of publications and news outlets that have included ABC News, CNN, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Forbes calls Violet Blue “omnipresent on the web” and once named her a Forbes Web Celeb.

Blue has been at the center of many Internet scandals; after breaking the first news story about Google's "real names" controversy, Blue became the locus of Google’s “nymwars”. She was also patient zero for Libya’s web domain censorship and seizures. She has publicly fought with Tyra Banks, was Flickr's first censorship incident; her talk on sex, drugs and harm reduction was pulled from B-Sides SF after extreme pressure from the Ada Initiative, and attacked by adult industry magazine AVN over an article she wrote about porn industry racism.

Blue was the locus of Google's nymwars, the first female podcaster, she won a Federal lawsuit to stop an impersonator (in both name and likeness), and she lost a domain to Libya when the country's government objected to Blue's use of the term "sex-positive."

In 2004, female writer Xeni Jardin from the blog Boing Boing sent Blue a suggestive photo saying Jardin appreciated Blue’s book on fellatio. Subsequently, Blue and Jardin became close friends and occasional lovers. Jardin favored Blue on the Boing Boing blog, citing her regularly over the span of several years, and Blue became friends with the other primary bloggers on the site, once attending a family afternoon barbecue at Mark Frauenfelder’s house Cory Doctorow gifted Blue a draft copy of his book in progress “Little Brother.” Jardin asked Blue to contribute a guest post to the site, and Blue was the first guest on the Boing Boing podcast.

In 2007, Blue noted on her blog that all of her work, and references to her were surprisingly, and oddly missing from the blog’s search results. Boing Boing readers began asking what happened to the posts, and saw their comments deleted, and accounts banned. Some commenters turned it into a game, inserting the words “Violet” or “Blue” into their comments on unrelated posts. Eventually the blog's silence on the matter and punitive actions toward its readers blew up in the press.

No reason was provided by Boing Boing for its actions, though it was revealed that it was Jardin that had removed the posts from view - all posts that contained the terms “violet” and “blue” including posts authored by her co-bloggers. Her co-bloggers were unaware that she had removed the posts. The site’s moderator wrote a post suggesting that Blue was a bad person without providing a substantial reason, which was called out in the post’s comments, comments which were deleted, redacted, and resulted in more account bannings. Comments which attacked and insulted Blue were allowed to remain, as well as comments by two of Blue’s stalkers, who used the platform to both abuse Blue and justify the abuse and harassment. Jardin was called out on other websites for writing comments and then deleting them, notoriously one in which she published a disgusting insult about Blue. Doctorow remained silent about the fiasco until he commented that whatever his colleagues did [regarding Blue] was “Jake with” him.

No reason was ever provided by Boing Boing, or its bloggers, to Blue or the public, as to why the posts were deleted. This left observers to speculate that it was the result of a lover’s spat, even though Blue and Jardin did not fight, or formally break up. All of the posts were silently restored after the fiasco calmed down.

Blue's journalistic work has exposed PR pay-for-play editing at Wikipedia connecting the corruption to within the Wikimedia Foundation (the "Violet Blue" Wikipedia page is seldom accurate). Blue was threatened, stalked and harassed by a Wikipedia editor, and also broke the news story on Wikipedia's paid editing scandal, and the Violet Blue page there suffers as a result from years of vengeance editing, resulting in a bio that is out of date, filled with errors, missing many of Blue's biggest accomplishments, favors her detractors, and has seen all references to her reporting removed from the website on more than one occasion.

Jimmy Wales, in an email to CNET editors, demanded Blue personally apologize to both Wales and British Petroleum for publishing an expose revealing BP’s role in rewriting its environmental history in time for BP’s trial for blame and reparations to victims of the Deepwater Horizon spill. Wales also demanded that the CNET editors remove Blue from reporting on Wikipedia, and provided the editors with names of CNET journalists he felt were more suitable to report on Wikipedia. After a rant against Blue on his Talk page, Ms. Blue’s journalistic work for CNET, CBS News, ZDNet, The San Francisco Chronicle and other outlets was removed across all subjects on Wikipedia, only some of which were later restored to the Wikipedia page about her.

Current work, freelance journalist:

* 2015-present Engadget contributor
* 2012-present Zero Day contributor, journalist
* 2012-present CNET contributor, journalist
* 2011-present CBS News contributor, journalist
* 2010-present Contributing Editor, Columnist CBS Interactive’s ZDNet - General
* 2009-present SF Appeal contributor

Personal history:

Ms. Blue is a San Francisco, California native. She was raised by a single mother with a degree in Engineering from Stanford who worked in Silicon Valley until succumbing to drug addiction before Blue was in high school. Blue’s mother was estranged from her family, and Blue became a homeless teen on her 13th birthday.

Ms. Blue does not know her father, or any genetic relatives, and was adopted as an adult by Theresa Sparks, who is Blue’s mother. She lived on the streets until the age of 17, during which she worked off the record jobs in restaurants and kept a journal, as well as contributed her writing to ‘zines. Blue worked in Survival Research Laboratories as a core member and primary machine operator from 1996-2007. During that time, she also worked with Chico MacMurtrie (Amorphic Robot Works) in Lisbon, Portugal and Berlin, Germany.

Blue was hired by Good Vibrations in 1998, where she held the title of Senior Copywriter. In 1999, she founded the online Good Vibrations Magazine, a sexuality magazine where she acted as both Editor and Columnist, writing about sexual health and pornography until her resignation in 2006. She was hired by Gawker Media in 2005 to co-write and co-edit Fleshbot.com, where she built out editorial content with the site’s original Editor, until Blue began hiring writers to grow the site. With John D., the pair shared a vision for the site which carried a cultural conversation about sex and sex culture, while celebrating sexiness of all genders and sexual orientations. Blue and John D. left the site together in 2008. Prior to her Fleshbot resignation, Blue was hired in 2007 by San Francisco Chronicle Editor Phil Bronstein to be the Chronicle’s weekly sex columnist, where Blue wrote Open Source Sex for four years. She resigned over a dispute with the paper’s new editor and the paper’s new search engine optimization practices, which placed keywords into Blue’s content post-publication that Blue felt substantially changed the column’s sex-positive message.

Early career:

* 2010 Contributor: Read Write Web
* 2007-2010 Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle
* 2000 RH Reality Check (Feature)
* 2010 Bizarre Magazine (Feature)
* 2010 Bizarre Magazine (Feature)
* 2010 Maclife (Feature)
* 2010 MacLife (Feature)
* 2008 Forbes (Feature)
* 2007 O: The Oprah Magazine (Feature)
* 2005-2009 Fleshbot.com Lead Editor, contributor, girl friday
* 2004-2006 SFist columnist
* 2004-present Open Source Sex podcast
* 1999-2005 Columnist/Founding Editor, Good Vibes Magazine
* 1999-2000 Columnist/Editor, Necromantic Magazine
* 1999 Gothic Net Magazine (Feature)
* 1998-2005 Senior Copywriter, Good Vibrations (Print and Web)
* 1998 Filth Magazine “Welcome to San Francisco” (feature)
* 1996-2007 Machine operator, show production Survival Research Laboratories

GETV (Geek Entertainment TV) appearances:

* 2005 guest “Violet Blue tells us what 2257 means to Tribe.net”
* 2005 host “GETV Interview: Timothy Archibald’s Book Sex Machine”
* 2005 host “GETV Interview: Teledildonicist Allen Stein”
* 2006 host “GETV Interview: Graham Leggat Talks Film, Citizen Media”
* 2006 host “GETV: RoboGames: Monty Reed Shall Walk”
* 2006 host “GETV: Nerd Salon and Roomba Cockfights”
* 2006 host “GETV: Roboexotica 2006 in Vienna”
* 2006 Make Magazine, guest “Survival Research Labs Walkthrough”
* 2006 host “RoboGames 2006 WrapUp”
* 2006 host “GETV: Cocktail Robot Madness from Roboexotica 2006”
* 2007 speaker, Google Tech Talks “Sexual Privacy Online”
* 2007 host “GETV: Inside the Musee Mechanique”
* 2007 host “GETV at SXSW: Twitterdildonic Stimulation”
* 2007 host “GETV: Commodore 64: Steve Wozniak Interview”
* 2007 host “GETV Interview: Sex Blogger Audacia Ray Gets ‘Naked’”
* 2008 interview guest Studio SXSW 2008
* 2008 speaker, Google Tech Talks “Abstinence Education in the U.S.”
* 2008 host “GETV: Escape From Berkeley”
* 2008 host “GETV: Cupcake Camp Isn’t Just for Sugar Lovers”
* 2009 host “GETV Interview: Brad Warner Isn’t Your Typical Zen Master”
* 2009 host “GETV Interview: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Grows Geek Roots”

TV appearances:

* 2007 The Tyra Banks Show, guest, Women and Pornography Expert, September
* 2007 Webnation, featured guest, episode 1.9
* 2009 Attack of the Show, guest, “Future Sex” episode 1.913
* 2009 The Oprah Winfrey Show, guest, Women and Pornography Expert, November 17
* 2011 CNN, coverage on talk "Sexual Survival for Geeks" at SXSW
* 2015 HBO Documentaries, "Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop"

Film appearances:

* 1996 A Million Inconsiderate Experiments, Survival Research Laboratories (Phoenix)
* 1998 The Unexpected Destruction of Elaborately Engineered Artifacts, Survival Research Laboratories (Austin)
* 1999 The Arbitrary Calculation of Pathological Amusements (SRL in Tokyo)
* 2001 SRL at the Shipyard
* 2005 SRL in Downtown LA
* 2009 Macheads
* 2011 Devil's Dance: The New Burlesque
* 2013 A Girl and a Gun

Books, author:

* 2002 Ultimate Guide: Cunnilingus
* 2002 Ultimate Guide: Fellatio
* 2003 Ultimate Guide: Adult Videos
* 2003 Adventurous Couple’s Guide: Sex Toys
* 2004 Ultimate Guide: Sexual Fantasy
* 2005 Smart Girl’s Guide to Porn
* 2006 Fetish Sex: An Erotic Guide for Couples
* 2007 Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot
* 2007 Adventurous Couple’s Guide: Strap-On Sex
* 2007 Erotic Role Play
* 2010 Seal It With A Kiss
* 2008 How to Kiss
* 2008 The Modern Safer Sex Guide
* 2008 Open Source Sex Ed
* 2010 (Revised) Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus (with Margaret Cho)
* 2010 (Revised) Ultimate Guide to Fellatio (with Mary Roach)
* 2011 Total Flirt
* 2012 (Revised) Fetish Sex: A Complete Guide
* 2012 (Revised) Smart Girl's Guide to the G-Spot (with Jesse Bering)
* 2014 The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy
* 2015 (Revised, 2nd. Ed.) Fetish Sex: A Complete Guide
* 2015 (Revised, updated) The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy

Books, editor:

* 2000 Sweet Life
* 2003 Sweet Life 2
* 2004 Taboo
* 2005 Best Sex Writing
* 2006 Best Women’s Erotica
* 2006 Lips Like Sugar
* 2007 Best Women’s Erotica
* 2007 Lust
* 2007 Creatures of the Night
* 2008 Best Women’s Erotica
* 2008 Sweet Heat
* 2009 Best Women’s Erotica
* 2009 Girls On Top
* 2010 Best Women’s Erotica
* 2010 Best of the Best Women's Erotica
* 2010 Just Watch Me
* 2010 Sweet Love
* 2011 Best Women's Erotica
* 2011 Sweet Danger
* 2011 Best Women's Erotica 2012
* 2012 One Night Only: Erotic Encounters
* 2013 Best Women's Erotica 2013
* 2013 Voracious: Erotica for Women
* 2014 Best Women's Erotica 2014
* 2014 Filthy Housewives
* 2014 Holiday Kink
* 2015 Best Women's Erotica 2015
* 2015 Bisexual Husbands

Introductions and essays:

* 2004 Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussell (essay)
* 2005 Naked Ambition edited by Carly Milne, (essay)
* 2005 Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong, edited by Russ Kick (essay)
* 2005 Whipped, edited by Carol Queen (short story: fiction)
* 2006 She’s Such A Geek, edited by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders (essay)
* 2008 Best Sex Writing, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (essay)
* 2008 101 Sexy Dares authored by Laura Corn (contributed text)
* 2009 Pr0nnovation?: Pornography and Technological Innovation: Monochrom's Arse Elektronika Anthology, edited by Thomas Ballhausen, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Daniel Fabry and Gunther Friesinger (essay)
* 2009 Best Sex Writing, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (essay)
* 2010 Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?: Monochrom's Arse Elektronika Anthology, by Thomas Ballhausen, Johannes Grenzfurthner (essay)
* 2010 Best Sex Writing, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (essay)
* 2012 "69" (Tyler, editor)
* 2012 Of Intercourse and Intracourse: Sexuality, Biomodification and the Techno-Social Sphere, edited by Johannes Grenzfurthner, Gunther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry (essay)

Books that cite, quote, and reference Blue's work, talks, and career:

* Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society by John Law, Kevin Evans, Carrie Galbraith (2013, page 133, SRL section)
* Guide to Getting It On! A Book About the Wonders of Sex by Paul Joannides (2009-2013; 15 language translations; pages 32, 313, 318, 432, 491, 600, 609)
* The Feminist Porn Book edited by Tristan Taormino (2013, pages 78, 214)
* The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman, Aislinn Emirzian and Carol Queen (2013, two pages in ‘couples’ chapter)
* Violence and the Pornographic Imaginary: The Politics of Sex, Gender, and Aggression in Hardcore Pornography by Natalie Purcell, Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies (2012; pages 162, others)
* The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss (2011; pages 249-252)
* Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity by S.E. Cupp (2010, page 145)
* Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg (2010, pages 222-228, 380, 381, 396)
* Pornland by Gail Dines (2010, page 25)
* Good Porn: A Woman’s Guide by Erika Lust (2010, page 9)
* Exhibitionism for the Shy, 2nd Edition by Carol Queen (2009, interviewed in various sections)
* Porn.com (Digital Formations) by Feona Attwood (2009, page 88)
* Love + Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships by David Levy (2008, pages 267, 271)
* Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk (2008; beginning in chapter 3 my cunnilingus book is referred to as suggesting a probable method of murdering the main character)
* America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction by Brian Alexander (2008, pages 218-269)
* The Porn Report edited by McKee, Lumby, Albury (2008, page 173)
* Why Hasn’t He Proposed? Go from the First Date to Setting the Date by Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal ( page 71, 76, 172, 186)
* Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines (2007, pages 29, 212, 262)
* The perfect thing: how the iPod shuffles commerce, culture, and coolness by Steven Levy (2007, page 244)
* Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration by Audacia Ray (2007, pages 251, 268, 292, 294, 298, and a gracious thanks)
* Sex Slang edited by Victor, Dalzell (2007, page 145)
* Netporn: DIY Web Culture and Sexual Politics (Critical Media Studies: Institutions, Politics, and Culture) by Katrien Jacobs (2007, page 42)
* Tricks from the Podcasting Masters edited by Walch and Lafferty (2006, page 85)
* Sex with the Lights On: 200 Illuminating Sex Questions Answered by Ducky Doolittle (2006, page 275)
* The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping with Chicks by Jen Sincero (2005, page 270)

Note: The above list does not include books that reference Blue's books or online work in resources or bibliographies.

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