John Oliver on the Widespread & Ignored Problem of Online Harassment
The Internet is great for many reasons - cat videos, Netflix, Kanye West's Twitter account, etc., but John Oliver points out that over the years, we've made the Internet a pretty dangerous place, especially for women.
"We've gotten to a place where women can fear for their lives based on something they said online."
In a 16-minute segment last night, John Oliver addressed the problem of online harassment. We've all heard horror stories of friends, celebrities and other women being threatened online, but for all the stories we've heard, there hasn't been much response by law enforcement.
Not only is the response from law enforcement not helpful, it's often pretty demeaning to women. Instead of dealing with the online harassers, women are told to turn their computers off and stop sharing things online in a classic victim-blaming reaction to a much larger problem.
As a society, we've allowed the Internet to become what it is today, but we haven't taken any steps to regulate its potential dangers. If the Internet becomes more ubiquitous, which it will, and the only way to stop female harassment online is to "turn off your computer", then I've lost faith in our society and law enforcement entirely.
Let's hope this video has as much effect as John Oliver's rant about FIFA, and law enforcement actually begins to take steps to regulate harassment online.