The harassers aren’t always the others, it’s us too

Cases of sexist harassment are repeated on French-speaking social networks. Even the reactions of surprise or support do not change. But the harassers aren’t always the others. Sometimes we are too, recalls journalist Lucie Ronfaut in Numerama’s # Rule30 newsletter.

Honestly, I don’t know what else to write about cyberbullying. Each week brings its share of cases that are both terribly violent and terribly similar to others. In this case, the last few days have been busy in this area:

– Internet users shouted at the censorship for the (voluntary) deactivation of an account that targeted Sandrine Rousseau, playing on the confusion between the real words of the parliamentarian and often vulgar and offensive content. This is a technique called ” FemSpoofing“, Which generally consists of pretending to be a feminist person with extreme remarks in order to tease her, or even deceive other Internet users. On average, the account posted 400 tweets per month.

– French streamers have revealed (a little bit) the constant harassment they are subjected to on Twitch. One of them, Ava Mind, shared a particularly shocking excerpt of a voice note sent by a stranger, who insults him and suggests that he does pornographic content rather than ” pretending to be a nerd for the sexually destitute“.

– Léna Situations, a famous French influencer, who has already left Twitter in the past due to the harassment she suffers regularly there, has been the victim of yet another wave of online hatred. This time, these attacks were motivated by the imminent opening of a restaurant bearing the brand image of her, offering vegan food.

Of course, these three situations alone do not sum up the concept of cyberbullying, which is a complex and protean phenomenon. It can affect public figures as well as ordinary people, and it does not only affect women, even if belonging to a vulnerable category increases the risks and determines the type of aggression (a man will be more often threatened with death than with rape, for example. ). But they demonstrate our powerlessness in the face of online violence, and also our misunderstanding of their mechanisms, even today.

Valérie Rey-Robert is an author (refers to an excerpt from a 1987 television program, in which cyclist Jeannie Longo suffered misogynistic criticism from colleagues)

Because it’s not just cyberbullying that repeats itself. There are also our reactions, which are often the same. We “Hallucin “in the face of this violence (as if they could still surprise us), we send” great supporters (it is well-intentioned, but it sounds a bit hollow in the face of such an immense and structural phenomenon) and above all we are tempted to point the finger at a certain category of people. It’s the fault of the trolls, the incels and the like ” frustrated virgins“, To bored teenagers, etc. In short, we create a boundary between the people we harass and ourselves. I don’t know if this topic is very comforting for a victim of cyberbullying. What I do know, however, is that this boundary does not actually exist.

This article is an excerpt from our weekly Rule30 newsletter, published by Numerama. This is the July 13, 2022 number. To sign up for free, it’s here.

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Get over your clichés about online violence

I return regularly to this study by the IPSOS institute, published earlier this year with the association Féministes contre le cyberharssement, which helped me overcome my clichés about online violence. We learn, for example, that 31% of French people say that they have already been the cause of a situation of cyberviolence (23% if we exclude people who admit to having searched their spouse’s phone without their authorization). This percentage is much higher among those under 35: 69% of young men interviewed admit to having already committed violence online and 61% of young women. Even more interesting, we learn that among the victims of repeated cyberbullying, 69% were also at the origin of this type of situation.

Is it because we are more aware of the violence we suffer than the one we inflict? Or because we got used to hate as part of our online experiences? I often think about it lately, when I see that anonymous question apps are back in fashion, that Instagram wants to turn us all into algorithm junkies videographers (inspired by TikTok, itself a platform plagued by violence among Internet users), and that I imagine several new cases will have been publicized by my next newsletter. Of course, cyberbullying cannot be excluded from its political, sexist, racist or economic context. But neither can we act as if this phenomenon did not concern us, and that we were only distant witnesses of it. Bullies aren’t always other people. Sometimes we are too.

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The press review of the week

Disinfo

Last week, YouTube (owned by Google / Alphabet) announced that it will now remove videos that spread information. ” misleading or incorrect on abortion. This decision fits into the context of the withdrawal of the right to abortion in the United States. But according to the platform, this is a simple extension of its policy on combating health disinformation, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information from Numerama.

Racism in manga

The Pixel section of the World examined an interesting topic: blacks in manga and the evolution of these representations. He is not surprising that these two topics are closely linked to the history of Japan and its relationship to immigration. But what you may not know is that this racism is indirectly linked to the influence of the West. If you are interested in the topic, you can read the article here.

Say my name, say my name

The partial ban on abortion in the United States has resulted in an avalanche of more or less tasteful content. This article by The Atlantic focuses on a rather strange trend: Internet users who suggest that they are ready to host people who wish to have an illegal abortion … but without ever saying the word ” abortion“, For fear of censorship on social networks, or more simply to give oneself a militant image at a lower cost. You can read it (in English) here.

Strip

On TikTok and YouTube, many videos feature strippers talking about their work without taboos. But by dint of wanting to go beyond the clichés about their activities, some end up creating others by idealizing their profession, not to mention precariousness and dangers. This is the subject of this survey, to be read on Input Mag (in English).

Something to read / watch / hear / play

Orimiya

Hori is a popular and diligent high school student in the classroom, despite the virtual absence of her parents who force her to take care of her little brother alone. Miyamura is one of her classmates, shy and secretly addicted to piercings and tattoos, which he is forced to hide in high school. So far, it sounds like an Avril Lavigne song; except inside Orimiya, things end well and quickly. Despite their differences, Hori and Miyamura get close and date.

The story is first quite agree. What makes the charm of Orimiya, and the success of this manga series (itself adapted from a popular webcomic of the early 2010s), is just that it takes on its banality. Rather than undergo a bit of artificial suspense, we very quickly get what we were promised (an adorable and rather realistic love story) and enjoy the sequel: the daily life of a young couple and their friends they love, argue and support each other at a pivotal time in their life. Orimiya it’s not an original story But it’s a great summer read, if you like a little lightness.

Horimiya, by Daisuke Hagiwara and Hero, Nobi Nobi editions (5 volumes, current series)

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