Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online

Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online

Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online

Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online


Cybersexism is rampant and can exact an astonishingly high cost. In some cases, the final result is suicide.

Bullying, stalking, and trolling are just the beginning. Extreme examples such as GamerGate get publicized, but otherwise the online abuse of women is largely underreported. Haters combines a history of online sexism with suggestions for solutions.

Using current events and the latest available research into cybersexism, Bailey Poland questions the motivations behind cybersexist activities and explores methods to reduce footprints of Internet misogyny, drawing parallels between online and offline abuse. By exploring the cases of Alyssa Funke, Rehtaeh Parsons, Audrie Pott, Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, and others, and her personal experiences with sexism, Poland develops a compelling method of combating sexism online.


Online spaces are fraught with the abuse of women. the past few years have produced one high-profile case of harassment after another, suffusing news headlines with the lurid details of women forced from their homes, their online and offline lives shattered by a torrent of sexist, racist, and transphobic abuse. Hate mobs like those associated with Gamergate and individual abusers and stalkers have proliferated online in recent years, causing women to fear going online at all. Whether it’s organized campaigns of unrelenting harassment, “doxxing,” and violent threats loosely coordinated on various message boards and social media sites or abusive spouses taking their violence into cyberspace (once ending up in front of the Supreme Court), hardly a month goes by when the news isn’t following yet another extreme example of the price women pay for being visible online. What is it about online spaces that makes abuse so common? and what can we do to make the Internet safer?

Before we can begin to explore the answers to those questions, it’s important to understand the core terminology used to describe the online abuse that characterizes so much of women’s experience with the Internet. a grasp of how this book talks about sexism and cybersexism is essential. While other definitions of sexism and cybersexism may exist and the definitions themselves are fluid, for the purposes of this book the two terms have specific definitions that are used as frames for the concepts discussed.

In this chapter I discuss the basic terminology used throughout the book in discussing sexism and cybersexism. I also explore the prevalence . . .

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