Many online users may not know how to take precautions, so Speak Up and Stay Safe(r) is a great starting point. But while reading through it, it troubled me how the onus is always on the target of online abuse to educate others and find solutions to a problem forced onto them.
Our society has long needed a comprehensive and up-to-the-nanosecond book-length treatment of online harassment as both a civil rights issue and a sociological phenomenon. Unfortunately, Gendertrolling: How Misogyny Went Viral, by scholar Karla Mantilla, is not quite that book—but for the moment, it will have to do.
Misogyny may evolve as new tactics are put into practice, but the systematic harassment of women, whether it be for speaking up or for accessing reproductive health care, continues to be about power.
The #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag seemed to strike a nerve with the Twitter users who heaped scorn and harassment on women who shared their stories.
A few weeks ago, I experienced an Internet first: a troll genuinely apologized to me for his behavior. What happened? I called him out by calling in his family members and his peers. By treating him like a human being, instead of an insult machine with a keyboard and Internet access.
On Monday, the Supreme Court struggled with when, and if, threatening statements made online should be constitutionally protected. But it may not be possible to find a middle ground.
If you really think that you are a good guy, and that you are not the kind of person who would threaten to violently hurt someone for the hell of it, the onus is on you to fix this.
An outgrowth of the latest abuse hurled at critic Anita Sarkeesian and developer Zoë Quinn, GamerGate was apparently a deliberate effort to purge women and people of color from the fledgling world of independent gaming criticism through harassment and accusations of fraudulence.
What began as a fun way to pass the time and form connections with people online has become an exercise in personal fortitude. Why is Twitter ignoring its users cries for help? And why has Twitter left the problem to its users to solve?
Rodger’s actions have a chilling rationality to them in the terms of our gendered society, which makes objects and possessions of women, and rapacious, status-conscious animals of men. Whatever else Rodger’s crimes are, they are not unintelligible; they merely wrote in blood what too many of us hear, see, and say every day.