Magazine article Herizons

Writer Fights Online Harassment

Magazine article Herizons

Writer Fights Online Harassment

Article excerpt

An Australian newspaper columnist who contacted the employer of a man who left verbally abusive comments on her Facebook page has expanded the global debate about online sexual harassment.

On November 25, the International Day forthe Elimination of Violence against Women, Clementine Ford, a columnist on the Australian website Daily Life, wrote about the violent and sexual insults she received through the course of her work. After a male poster called Ford a "slut" she contacted the man's employer, listed on his public Facebook page. She included several screen shots of the man's posts, which she described as "an assortment of vile racism."

After it was reported that he was no longer working for the company, Ford explained why she notified the man's employer.

"I'm sick and tired of men abusing women online and continually getting away with it," Ford wrote. "I don't really see that there are any appropriate mechanisms, particularly on Facebook, to really deal with these kinds of things."

"I think the power comes from women standing up together and saying this is what happens when we speak up. This is harassment that all of us experience, and it's not OK," wrote Ford.

Ford said she was frustrated with Facebook's system for reporting abuse. Twitter has faced similar complaints.

Last May, the organization Women, Action and the Media (WAM) issued a report on online harassment that found young women are the most likely to be victims of severe online harassment. …

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