This question shouldn’t even have to be asked. We should live in a world where anyone can safely browse the internet without fearing for their safety or well-being. Sadly however this is not the case. Many of use experience abuse, security hacks and harassment when online – statistics show that women generally bear the brunt of this tirade. Craigslist for example reports that 57% of people who experience abuse on their platform are women.
If we look deeper into this, it appears that a large number of internet users are simply sexists or see women as an easy target. Women have reported sexual harassment, abuse and threatening messages. Feminists and women with feminist inspired names seem to gain a disproportionate amount of the negative behavior. Aside from this, there are also websites whose users post images and videos of sexual assault and rape against women. This type of behavior is simply disgusting and should not be tolerated at all.
So is it likely to get better? Will the internet change for women? There are already measure in place to help prevent recurring abuse. For example, it is possible to report abuse on social media platforms such as Twitter. Furthermore, you can install blocking tools such as Block Bot and Block Together. This only helps with recurring abuse however. The abuse should never occur in the first place!
At this point in time, internet companies are concentrating on blocking abuse. The internet will not be a safe place for women however until the actual abusers and reasoning is tackled first. We must get to the root cause of the problem and look at why individuals feel it is acceptable to behave in such a way. For now, we are effectively putting a band aid over a huge wound!