Online harassment is real and devastating

Just about any woman or person of color who has expressed an opinion on the internet knows the wrath of online trolls. It’s frightening and real, yet the response is lagging far behind the technology. As John Oliver points out in another brilliant segment for Last Week Tonight, law enforcement often doesn’t even know what Twitter is, leaving women without recourse when they are getting very specific rape and death threats. More people need to understand the gravity of the situation, and the show does a great job of making the case for why we all need to take this more seriously (featuring a fabulous parody of an old AOL ad featuring Rob Huebel and Colin Hanks).

There is some progress being made, with some states taking action to punish purveyors of “revenge porn,” but there needs to be more action. As Oliver points out, “If you’re thinking, come on, [online harassment] doesn’t seem like that big a problem, well, congratulations on your white penis.”

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Author: Rebecca Griffin

I am a passionate advocate for progressive causes with over a decade of experience organizing for social change. That organizing experience informs the way I look at the world and the challenges we face in working toward social justice. I started Of Means and Ends to write about social issues I care about and share my thoughts on how we organize in a smart, strategic way. Please visit and join the conversation.

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