Week 5: Online Violence Against Women

I found this week’s reading, “A ‘conversation’ about violence against women online,” to have really opened my eyes to how blind and close-minded people can be to the reality of online violence. I think it is naïve to believe online violence does not exist, or that people are “too sensitive, not knowing how to take a joke” (Wernimont 2015). I believe there is always a little truth behind each joke, and threats to women, as well as anyone else, should be taken seriously. The way I think of it is if you were to tell someone online that you like the colour blue, when you talk to them in person you would expect them to remember you like the colour blue, and to have taken you seriously. Therefore, if you were to threaten someone online why would you not expect them to take that just as seriously, if not even more seriously, in “real” life. I think conversations online translate into “real” life thoughts and actions.

I do think the mention of GamerGate in the title of the original article was unnecessary, more of a way to attract an audience by suggesting they are anti-feminist. But as mentioned various times throughout the Storify, GamerGame is not specifically what is being focused on. However, even though “the CSOV work is about broad based violence against women/feminists online and not *about* GG, it doesn’t quite seem right to say that it isn’t relevant either…” (Wernimont 2015). After all, pro-GG women face harassment as well.

I think Erin Gloria Ryan is missing the point in her tweet as online violence is more than just “being disagreed with on a public forum,” (morninggloria) it is what comes after. Some people take their opinions to a new level by threatening harm to those they disagree with. I think most people can handle being disagreed with, but it is the harmful comments that become unsettling.

Why do you think only negative opinionated tweets were displayed in the Storify when discussing online violence against women?

When listening to Adam’s demo on Storify, an aspect that really shocked me was that you cannot search for pictures, tweets, etc. for your story on a social media platform that you don’t have. This reenforces how much we value social media in our lives. Does having less of a social media presence put a person at a disadvantage on Storify? Will less people follow and read their story because it does not have content from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?


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