As I type this, I know the kind of messages that will come streaming through my inbox in the coming days, but I also know that the most painful part of my experience has been feeling suffocated, like I have no right to speak about how this has affected me. I hereby refuse to swallow garbage and shut up about it, and anyone who thinks I shouldn’t be sharing my story would do well to remember this: Hatred is empowered by silence.
– Lauren Duca
Targeted writers and journalists have often expressed exasperation and bewilderment over what causes certain individuals to harass others online. They wanted to know the answer to one simple question: Why?
There’s still so much we don’t understand about online harassment. We need to develop concrete language, with shared definitions, about the many forms online harassment can take. We need research and storytelling about its real-world impact. And we need to reframe online harassment as a free expression issue, one that aims to intimidate writers and journalists – especially women, people of color, and members of LGBTQ+ community – into self-censorship and silence.
In this section, you will find: