A revealing Reddit feed has exposed the worst comments, pictures and behavior women have received from men online.
The feed, which asks “Girls of reddit! What is the creepiest thing a guy has sent you on social media?”, has received 758 comments in under 24 hours describing a variety of online abuse including hate speech, online stalking and identity theft, across an array of online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and online gaming.
Much of the concerning behaviour experienced by commenters occurred over social networking site Facebook. One Reddit user described the “death and rape threats” she received from a man at 16, after she asked him to stop sending her nude pictures in Facebook’s private messaging feature.
“When I didn’t immediately respond… I got more threats… a couple more nudes and an ‘apology’ which was basically like ‘I’m sorry that I said that stuff but I had to because you forgot your place’,” the user said.
Online gaming also proved to be rife with sexual harassment. One commenter said, while playing on RuneScape, a fantasy multiplayer game, when she was “very young”, a “random character in the game walked up to mine one day and told me my name, date of birth, details about me, and spoke of how we were on webcam naked the night before.
Others spoke of receiving abusive comments while playing on Xbox live, using Msn and even when commenting on seemingly innocent YouTube videos.
Another woman, who says she makes a living through webcam pornography, said, despite being in the trade because “it makes me feel confident, sexy, and the money is good”, she will also experience men becoming “demanding”, “mean” and personal”.
“Men will threaten me, via violence, rape, you name it,” she said.
Another “camgirl” echoed these comments saying: “I have experienced the same kind of awful threats and harassment.” One man, she claimed, hacked her computer by “turn[ing] on my webcam remotely to watch me and open[ing] up a note pad to type to me on my own screen telling me he would never leave me alone until I did what he wanted”.
Cyber violence is defined by the United Nations Broadband Commission as hate speech, hacking, identity theft, online stalking threats and induced suicides.
Nearly three quarters of women and girls have experienced some form of cyber violence, according to a report released by the UNBC released last month.
The report found women are 27 times more likely to be abused than men, while 73 per cent of women had reported experiencing online abuse and 18 per cent, around 9 million women, had experienced some form of serious internet violence.
“Complacency and failure to address and solve cyber violence could significantly impede the uptake of broadband services by girls and women worldwide,” said Houlin Zhao, the co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission.