This new report published by the UN is setting an extremely dangerous precedent, especially to those Social Justice Warriors who uses online abuse as a way to stop people from criticizing them online. The problem with these people is that they put their thoughts and ideas out into the world via social media, which makes it very easy for hundreds of millions of people to see their comments and irrespective what view point they have people will disagree and criticize them. And that is where the problem comes in, if you are going to say something inflammatory or stupid online expect people to reply in kind. Don’t hide behind online abuse as an excuse to avoid criticism or having a discussion.
As a blogger I have had some pretty scummy vile shit said to me in the past by both men and even woman, scummy and vile shit is said to a lot of people regardless of what gender they are. I have known a couple of people who self-harmed and one even come close to killing themselves over constant harassment, threats and insults both offline and online. But tackling and discussing a big issue like this while focusing on only one gender is a bit counter-productive to an issue that effectively affects everyone on the internet. Generally speaking, harassment of any kind is not condonable, but it’s a crazy world we live in when this nonsense is being given attention at the UN.
Outside the world of videogames and the internet, there are far, far, more urgent matters for the UN to be addressing and this is definitely NOT one of them. I have seen and heard people who’ve went as far to have called the opinion of a person that differs from their own opinion as “harassment”. Not being able to handle a snarky comment is a world of difference apart from being physically abused. No one has to be nice when criticizing others. Free speech is a real thing, what it does not entitle you to is protection from the consequences of, say, people giving you a bunch of shit for what you just said on Twitter or Facebook.
I have never viewed the UN as a very good place to go about well pretty much anything. True they will bring attention to it, but I don’t expect anything substantive to come out of it. The UN can hardly stop people from committing crimes against humanity or help solve the current refugee crisis so I don’t imagine they’ll be much help combating online harassment. Just like a view the fact that someone like Anita Sarkeesian a con artist and Zoe Quinn a known domestic abuser,online harasser and lair, are not the right people to be highlighting the current harassment issues woman are experiencing online. Being a victim of online harassment doesn’t necessarily make you an expert on online harassment.