Alanah Pierce: Fighting Online Sexual Harassment by Contacting Mothers

Pearce Tweet

earce 2

Source:

“Sometimes young boys on Facebook send me rape threats, so I’ve started telling their mothers.” Huffington Post. 6 December 2014

http://tinyurl.com/orfwhlu

Pearce 3

Source: 

Alanah Pearce, “Again, nobody is suing me. That ‘story’ was posted on a joke website and others assumed it was true. It’s not!” Twitter. 4 December 2014

http://tinyurl.com/m5xkgjk

Alanah Pierce, a 21-year-old video games journalist in Brisbane, Australia, has been the victim of internet trolls, including some who have threatened to rape her. She said, “A while ago, I realized that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren’t adult males.” At first, she had thought that the trolls were middle-aged men, but she said that she was wrong: “It turns out that mostly they’re young boys [according an article by Nina Bahadur in the Huffington Post, the boys were 10 to 15 years old] and the problem is they don’t know any better, so responding to them rationally didn’t resolve the situation. And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable.” She added, “I’m unlikely to be able to rationally discuss the harmful nature of online harassment with a young boy, but it also means they’re probably naive and can learn from the experience. So, I thought about it, and the obvious solution was to try to find their family, via Facebook, and ask that they address the issue.” She wrote four women, and one woman responded to her. Ms. Pearce said, “She responded in almost exactly the way I wanted her to. The fact she called him a little sh[*]t I found funny as well because I thought that but I wasn’t going to say anything.” The mother’s response was admirable. Ms. Pearce said, “She has gotten him to handwrite me a letter and she’s also spoken to other parents in the community. She is going to the school to talk about online harassment and bullying and trying to make other parents more aware of what their kids are saying online.” She posted on Twitter about the response. She said, “It was just a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it’s not okay to be sexist to women, even if they’re on the internet, that they [women] are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that.” Huffington Post writer Nina Bahadur supports what Ms. Pearce has done: “Pearce’s actions are admirable for bringing more attention to the issue of online harassment — and hopefully the boys who’ve threatened her will change the way they treat women on the internet, stat.” The Huffington Post created a Facebook page about this story. On that page, Carol Jo Armstrong commented, “‪I was a wedding photographer for years. After the ceremony and quite a few drinks I would get mooned by the smart [*]ss guys in the wedding party. I think I’ve been mooned more than anyone on the planet. When the pictures were back, I would track the ‘boys[’]’ parents thru the bride and groom and gift mom with an 8 x 10 of her son’s [*]ss. Boom.” By the way, there were internet rumors that some of the parents of the boys who threatened Ms. Pearce were suing her for defamation. This was just a rumor. Ms. Pearce tweeted, “Again, nobody is suing me. That ‘story’ was posted on a joke website and others assumed it was true. It’s not!”

For Further Information: Everett True, “The gaming journalist who tells on her internet trolls — to their mothers.” Guardian. 28 November 2014

http://tinyurl.com/qeapvws

For Further Information: Nina Bahadur,“Game Reviewer Alanah Pearce Is Contacting The Mothers Of Boys Who Sent Her Rape Threats.” Huffington Post. 2 December 2014; updated 8 December 2014

http://tinyurl.com/k2m5kr6

For Further Information: Larry Magid, “Sexual Harassment Victim’s Secret Weapon.” Huffington Post. 2 December 2014; updated 4 December 2014

http://tinyurl.com/nlb67dl

For Further Information: “Sometimes young boys on Facebook send me rape threats, so I’ve started telling their mothers.” Huffington Post. 6 December 2014

http://tinyurl.com/orfwhlu

For Further Information: Alanah Pearce, “Again, nobody is suing me. That ‘story’ was posted on a joke website and others assumed it was true. It’s not!” Twitter. 4 December 2014

http://tinyurl.com/m5xkgjk

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