Precious gift, John Oliver, tackles yet another major and overlooked problem on this past weekend’s Last Week Tonight: online harassment. An enormous percentage of people, especially women, are constantly attacked on the internet for simply “having a thought in their minds and then vocalizing it online.” And these aren’t minor attacks like telling someone they’re wrong for not liking the latest Marvel movie. These are serious threats that can make people fear for their safety and lives.
Yes, the internet isn’t just a bunch of trolls who have nothing to do with their time, it’s also filled with actual horrible, misogynistic humans who send people rape and death threats. In fact, our feminist friends, Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu, were featured in this episode talking about their own experiences with the ugliness of online harassment and how these problems are rarely prosecuted. These women have had to leave their homes in fear, simply for pointing out sexism in the video game industry. (On a hilarious side note, John Oliver has apparently pissed off idiot Gamergaters even though he didn’t even specifically mention them.)
However, internet harassment doesn’t just affect women in gaming. Revenge porn is another ugly aspect of this issue, and unfortunately, our society is really good at victim blaming, telling women not to take naked photos of themselves if they don’t want some piece of sh** posting them later on. Since Oliver is a highly intelligent and wonderful human he attacks this harmful train of thought and backfires with the ridiculous retort: “If you don’t want to get burgled, don’t live in a house!”
Revenge porn most definitely needs to be dealt with on a federal level, and we now have the Intimate Privacy Protection Act, a bill that would make revenge porn a federal crime. Fortunately, this has encouraged internet companies like Twitter and Reddit to ban revenge porn, and Google is removing photos of revenge porn from search results upon request. This is a big deal because “not even vindictive perverts will use Bing.”
Please enjoy the very important video above and beware of Rickrolling.