One Week of Harassment on Twitter

One Week of Harassment on Twitter by Anita Sarkeesian.

From the post:

Ever since I began my Tropes vs Women in Video Games project, two and a half years ago, I’ve been harassed on a daily basis by irate gamers angry at my critiques of sexism in video games. It can sometimes be difficult to effectively communicate just how bad this sustained intimidation campaign really is. So I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a week’s worth of hateful messages sent to me on Twitter. The following tweets were directed at my @femfreq account between 1/20/15 and 1/26/15.

The limited vocabularies of the posters to one side, one hundred and fifty-six (156) hate messages is an impressive number. I pay no more attention to postings by illiterates than I do to cat pictures but I can understand why that would get to be a drag.

Many others have commented more usefully on the substance of this topic than I can but as a technical matter, how would you:

  • Begin to ferret out the origins and backgrounds on these posters?
  • Automate response networks (use your imagination about the range of responses)?
  • Automate filtering for an account under such attacks?

Lacking any type of effective governance structure, think any unexplored and ungoverned territory, security and safety on the Internet is a question of alliances for mutual protection. Eventually governance will evolve for the Internet but since that will require relinquishing of some national sovereignty, I don’t expect to see it in our lifetimes.

In the meantime, we need stop-gap measures that can set the tone for the governance structures that will eventually evolve.


PS: Some people urge petitioning current governments for protection. Since their interests are in inherent conflict with the first truly transnational artifact (the Internet), I don’t see that as being terribly useful. I prefer whatever other stick comes to hand.

I first saw this in a tweet by

One Response to “One Week of Harassment on Twitter”

  1. marijane says:

    On the subject of automatic filtering, here is an attempt to do that: