Stef (firecat) wrote,
Stef
firecat

The EFF tries to address online harrassment, comes up short

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/facing-challenge-online-harassment

I'm glad they said something.

It's true that rules and regulations aimed at harrassers are likely to end up being used against the same groups of people who are most often the targets of harrassment (women, people of color, queer people, etc.). For example, Facebook's real name policy has been used to harrass drag queens and trans people.

The suggestions they describe for addressing harrassment are important but they aren't sufficient. Stronger blocking tools that are easier for individual users to employ? That matters, but it's not going to help with doxxing. More control over the online availability of personal information? That matters, but it's a really inadequate tool against harrassment per se. It puts a huge burden on the victim and limits their participation in the public sphere. Counter-speech? That is absolutely necessary, but it's not a solution that allows victims to stay online, especially when the victims are individuals who would rather not spend every moment of every day being reminded of their harrassment.

I have a problem with the phrase "The kind of harassment we are worried about happens when Internet users attract the attention of the wrong group or individual," because it's subtly victim-blaming.

Also the post relegates the demographics of harrassment (e.g. that women are harrassed at a far higher rate than men) to a footnote.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/862150.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.
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