So, I woke up this morning to come across this.
Not to long ago it was being labeled as Cyber Violence. Now we’re just flat out running with terrorism. Because Survivers of 9/11, the Boston Bombing, or any other terrorist situation (mass shooting?) . . . . your now on par with these people. They know your pain.
Written by Anne Thériault, the Vice piece is pretty much an exploration of . . . The typical online experience of anyone that chooses to publicly have an online presence. It starts with a threat supposedly directed at the articles auther (Anne) VIA a Youtube comment section, after she took part in a panel on sexual assult.
She was allegedly told that “She deserves to be raped”. To be clear, I do not doubt that some fuckwit would leave such a comment. I just say allegedly, because that is what good reporters say when dealing with content that has more than likely been deleted.
The article goes next into the stories of a few notable names in the GamerGate debate/movement/whatever the fuck. First is Anita Sarkeesian (canceled a talk at a University in Utah after a threat was made on the event. One that even the authorities didn’t really take all that seriously. It WAS taken seriously, just figured not to be legitimate). And then there is Breanna Wu (allegedly forced to leave her home due to a threat of violence).
And then there is Zoe Quinn (a game developer that is alleged to have slept with a media gaming critic. Something that is being called a conspiracy theory here . . . I have no idea), who was doxxed by an anti-femenist into also leaving her home. Also mentioned are a number of Black women that face harassment online after speaking out.
First of all, though sending death threats is apparently common place these days, don’t due it. Though they may be EMPTY threats, there is no such thing as a harmless threat. Even if the only harm is emotional, there are WAY better ways to make a point than to potentially get yourself in legal trouble.
And no, sending threats is not a matter of free speech. You do not have to right to threaten ANYONE’S life. That argument is fucking stupid, so don’t even THINK about using it.
One thing I have to take issue with however, is that digital harassment is a majority women problem.
And no matter what the numbers say, it’s still ridiculous (and offensive, to be honest) to equate words said by idiots/ trolls/ whoever as terrorism. Think of a survivor of (or a family member or friend of a person lost to) terrorism. It’s hard to see this as NOT an insulting comparison!
“I almost died in the Twin towers!”
“People tell me on YouTube and Twitter that I deserve to get raped”
Again, no one should be threatening ANYONE (including those that used the supposedly joke #KillAllMen hash tag. Terrorists!). But come on!
Another thing we must consider, is how insulting these professional victims are to actual victims of abuse. Though no one should have to face death threats, one has to be honest . . . . It’s got its perks. The more media coverage you receieve for being on the tail end of primarily male threats, the more money flows into those patreon accounts. It would be another matter if this was going to charities that help with such issues as domestic and dating abuse and violence. But I have yet to hear of it yet.
So while these people make the rounds of the news media and the UN (and Google!), real victims remain in the shadows. Their pain over looked, because it didn’t happen though a gaming network chat or tweet.
The fact that Vice choose to run this fucking joke of an article, is a really unfortunate statement of their legitimacy lately (though certainly not the only one!). Considering the depths that it’s television program goes though to get some of its pieces (as well as the quality of that reporting), their online side is . . . .lacking.
As for everyone else that is parroting this Cyber Violence and/Or Terrorism narrative in terms of online harrasment of women . . . .stop. Your careless throwing around of deliberately abrasive key words is not just insulting to actual victims/survivers of terrorism, but also to victims and survivers of domestic abuse.
Also, when a person decides to close social media accounts VOLUNTARILY, they have not been “Shut Up”. Having their accounts closed without just cause (but for just being ideologically active) would be a different matter. But not the way author Anne describes.
Another thing I disagree with is that these people are out to silence women, let alone ALL women.
People that attempt to scare people into silence are the worst of the worst, and giving them this attention (or caving to their demands!) is just giving them what they want. Either noteriety (“Look what I helped accomplish!”) or just plain success. Fuck those people.
One thing that is common with these feminist professional victim’s (to borrow a term) is that they also do not respond to legitimate criticism of their work or studies. And yet they want to not just be taken seriously, but also (at times) for their work to be utilized IN the realm of education.
I am not yet in the world of academic post secondary studies, but even I know that in that world, everything is up for debate. That is how stupid ideas are weeded from the good.
If you refuse to aknowledge even layman critical analysis of your work, why should those in academia take you seriously?