What you fail to understand is that the use of hate speech, threats and bullying to terrify and intimidate people into silence or away from certain topics is a far bigger threat to free speech than any legal sanction.
Imagine this is not the internet but a public square. One woman stands on a soapbox and expresses an idea. She is instantly surrounded by an army of 5,000 angry people yelling the worst kind of abuse at her in an attempt to shut her up. Yes, there’s a free speech issue there. But not the one you think.
If you haven’t watched this yet, do it now and learn what it means to be a real ally. Spoiler alert: It’ll make you very happy.
The incident he’s referring to is of course the one about Feminist Frequency’s kickstarter project which I mentioned here.
Jay Smooth being fucking awesome as usual re: online harassment.
Since I already opened that can of worms you may as well check out this website that documents the creepy, disturbing, insulting and degrading messages online players get.
And oh hey, surprise! Most submissions are made by women.
I am certainly not the first woman to suffer this kind of harassment and sadly, I won’t be the last. But I’d just like to reiterate that this is not a trivial issue. It can not and should not be brushed off by saying, “oh well that’s YouTube for you“, “trolls will be trolls” or “it’s to be expected on the internet”. These are serious threats of violence, harassment and slander across many online platforms meant to intimidate and silence. And it’s not okay.
Super-badass blogger lady Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency in the article “Dear The Internet, This Is Why You Can’t Have Anything Nice”.
Read also more about the incident regarding her kickstarter project “Tropes vs. Women” here.
Side note: When I started blogging about feminist issues, one of my first posts was about the appalling sexism in the games industry and among gamers because I had just attended gamescom. Not hard to guess what I had to deal with in the comments section of that blog post…