Online harassment of women

On his show Last Week Tonight John Oliver points out that the internet provides a medium for some of the worst elements of society to mercilessly attack women via revenge porn and other means just for the ‘crime’ of being a woman online or expressing an opinion publicly. There is something very, very disturbing about this phenomenon because it reveals a really ugly side of humanity and the fact that there seems to be little recourse for the targeted women makes it even worse.

Google has announced steps to prevent its search algorithms returning revenge porn results. That is a step forward but does not eliminate the problem since the sites will still exist. Somehow you suspect that if the targets of systematic online harassment were powerful people, they would quickly find ways to stop it.


  1. rgmani says

    The scary thing is that this video has probably got more downvotes than any other Last Week Tonight segments.

    -- RM

  2. steveht says

    I hate this idea that it’s someones own fault for trusting someone with explicit pictures or otherwise compromising materials.

    On the other hand, if there’s nothing wrong with posting them, then one ought have no shame in having posted them. Why aren’t we publicizing the names of the posters, far and wide. At least then we can plainly identify individuals we should not trust with our more personal materials.

  3. says

    I hate this idea that it’s someones own fault for trusting someone with explicit pictures or otherwise compromising materials.

    I wonder if we’d be able to make some progress on that point if we get over a bit of our prudery. I mean, really, who cares who fucks whom and when, other than the people involved? We’re all naked under our clothes. If someone wanted to see my hairy butt, meh, whatever. What’s weird is that, in this society, you might lose your job for having people look at your nude pictures… Imagine if people got fired for looking at the ‘fappening’ pictures stolen from Jennifer Lawrence’s phone. It’d be more appropriate for them to lose their jobs than for their transgression on her privacy to affect her.

  4. DD Girl says

    I would love to be able to share sexy pictures but I am just too afraid of what could happen!

  5. Mano Singham says

    I wonder if we will ever reach a point when, informed that naked pictures of someone we know personally or who is famous can be found on the internet, people will just shrug and say who cares and not bother to look?

    After all, we no longer live in a time when photos of naked people are hard to obtain and thus highly titillating. With a click, anyone can see any number of such photos provided by people voluntarily. And they are, after all, pretty much the same.

    It might be like films. There was a time when the briefest nudity was enough to get people all worked up. Nowadays hardly anyone cares.

    One can only hope.

  6. lanir says

    In my very limited experience while working at a datacenter the FBI agents I dealt with still had no earthly clue about pretty fundamental ideas of what the internet is and how it works, but they seemed to have expertise on tap when they needed something done. Maybe they’d be a better place to go with internet-related issues?

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