This International Women’s Day (and every day), we’d like recognize a few of those who have written about, researched, and spoken about online harassment. Many experienced online harassment themselves, yet prevailed, refusing to be silenced and, in fact, speaking about their own stories and supporting other targeted individuals. It’s important to note that this list isn’t a ranking and only a minuscule fraction of the number of individuals who have spoken out against online harassment and who have worked to counter abusive and harassing behavior online and offline.
Online harassment touches many fields, sectors, and work—gaming, politics, journalism, tech, activism, and much more. It can also affect or happen to anyone—your relative who casually posts on Facebook to powerful CEOs. We recognize that not everyone has the privilege to speak out, pursue action, or prevail publicly. To that end, however, we recognize anyone and everyone who has experienced online harassment. We will continue to provide resources for individuals facing online harassment and advocating for people’s best interest. Happy International Women’s Day to these women—and many others—who have led the way and inspire us to keep to doing this work. Please check out these women’s great writing, speeches, games, videos, and organizations.
Amanda Hess is an award-winning journalist who writes about the internet, culture, gender, and sex.
"'Ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront you online every day.' That's what women are told. But these relentless messages are an assault on women's careers, their psychological bandwidth, and their freedom to live online. We have been thinking about Internet harassment all wrong.”
“Asking women to sort of remove themselves from public spaces—which is what the internet is now—it’s sort of like telling them if you don’t like being harassed stay off the street.”
Celeste Ng is an author who has spoken about her experiences with online harassment and spoken out against it.
Please don't say "Well, you're a public figure; all public figures get harassed." Being a public figure does NOT entitle anyone to get to harass you or your family. (Even setting aside whether we are, indeed, "public figures.")— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) August 23, 2018
Anita Sarkeesian is the founder of Feminist Frequency, a nonprofit organization that examines the media in relation to societal issues like gender, race, and sexuality. Their Online Safety Guide is a comprehensive resource to help people protect themselves from online harassment.
Carrie Goldberg is a victims’ rights attorney with an expertise in online harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and other violent crimes.
“I’m in this for the crusade. I want to help my individual clients, but I’m also here to prevent people from becoming clients. I’d like to put myself out of a job because revenge porn, stalking, and harassment will go away. My crusade is about everybody having autonomy over their sexual, physical and emotional life. I use litigation, advocacy, and education to reach those goals." - interview with Wired
Danielle Citron is a professor and a leader in information privacy, free expression, and civil rights research. Her work is often cited as foundational in texts about online harassment and her 2014 book, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, “explored the phenomenon of cyber stalking and the role of law and private companies in combating it.” She’ll be a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2019.
Jamilah Lemieux is an award-winning writer, speaker, and consultant challenging the status quo and who has been outspoken about her own experience with online harassment.
I’m tired of men acting like online harassment is just some silly nonsense that might go away if women didn’t “entertain” it. Admit that it doesn’t bother you because you’re not affected by it, but don’t act like you don’t see it. It’s impossible to miss.— Jamilah (@JamilahLemieux) January 24, 2019
Erica Johnstone is a lawyer and the co-founder of Without My Consent, an organization that aims to empower individuals facing online harassment and online invasions of privacy.
Zoë Quinn is an award-winning independent game developer, artist, and activist. After she became the first target of GamerGate, she fought to protect others from what had happened to her.
If I could give you one page of Goddess Mode that represents the heart and soul under the glitter and grime, it’d be this one. pic.twitter.com/FUP3U4XQCp— Taylor .swf 🔜 ECCC & C2E2 (@UnburntWitch) January 2, 2019
Franchesca Ramsey aka Chescaleigh is writer, actress, podcast host, and video blogger. She recently wrote a book, That Escalated Quickly, in which she chronicles her experience with online harassment, social media, and her journey to becoming an activist.
And so many others!
For resources about online harassment, please visit our Action Center, where you'll find step-by-step plans for both securing your digital presence and taking action in the face of online harassment.