The harassers are not always the others, it is us too

Cases of sexist harassment on French-speaking social networks are repeated. The reactions of surprise or support do not change either. But the harassers are not always the others. Sometimes it’s also us, 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 the others. In this case, the last few days have been busy in this regard:

– Internet users cried out for censorship because of the (voluntary) deactivation of an account that targeted Sandrine Rousseau, playing on the confusion between the true words of the MP 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 to make fun of it, or even deceive other Internet users. On average, the account posted 400 tweets per month.

– French streamers have revealed (a little) the constant harassment they are subject 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 make pornographic content rather than ” pretend to be a geek for the sexually destitute“.

– Léna Situations, famous French influencer, who has already left Twitter in the past because of the harassment she regularly suffers there, has been the victim of yet another wave of online hatred. This time, these attacks were motivated by the upcoming opening of a restaurant bearing the image of his brand, 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 individuals, and it does not only affect women, even if the fact of belonging to a vulnerable category increases the risks and determines the type of attacks (a man will be more often threatened with death than from rape, for example). But they demonstrate our helplessness in the face of online violence, and also our incomprehension in front of their mechanics, even today.

Valérie Rey-Robert is an author (she refers to an excerpt from a TV show dating from 1987, where cyclist Jeannie Longo suffered misogynistic criticism from colleagues)

Because it is not just cyberbullying that is repeated. There are also our reactions, which are often the same. We « hallucinates ” in the face of this violence (as if they could still surprise us), we send ” huge supporters (it’s well intentioned, but it sounds a little 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 who harass and ourselves. I don’t know if this argument is very comforting for a victim of cyberbullying. What I do know, however, is that this border does not really exist.

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

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Overcome your own clichés about online violence

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

Is it because we are more aware of the violence that we undergo than that which we inflict? Or because we’ve grown accustomed to hate as part of our online experiences? I often think about this lately, when I see that anonymous question apps are back in fashion, that Instagram wants to turn us all into videographers doped with algorithms (inspired by TikTok, itself a platform plagued by violence between Internet users), and that I imagine that by my next newsletter, several new cases will have been publicized. Of course, cyberbullying cannot be taken out of 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 to it. The bullies are not always other people. Sometimes it’s us too.

The data transmitted through this form is intended for PressTiC Numerama, in its capacity as data controller. These data are processed with your consent for the purpose of sending you by e-mail news and information relating to the editorial content published on this site. You can oppose these e-mails at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe links present in each of them. For more information, you can consult our entire personal data processing policy.

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The press review of the week

Disinfo

Last week, YouTube (owned by Google/Alphabet) announced that it would now remove videos spreading information ” misleading or erroneous about abortion. This decision comes in the context of the rollback of the right to abortion in the United States. But according to the platform, this is a simple extension of its policy on the fight against disinformation on the subject of health, in particular in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information from Numerama.

Racism in manga

The Pixels section of the World looked at an interesting subject: black people in manga and the evolution of these representations. Unsurprisingly, these two subjects are closely related 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 subject, you can read the article here.

Say my name, say my name

The partial ban on abortion in the United States has caused an avalanche of content of more or less good taste. This article from The Atlantic focuses on a rather strange trend: Internet users who imply that they are ready to harbor people wishing to have an illegal abortion… but without ever saying the word ” abortion“, for fear of censorship on social networks, or more simply to give themselves 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, without mentioning the precariousness and the dangers. This is the subject of this investigation, to be read at Input Mag (in English).

Something to read/watch/listen to/play

Horimiya

Hori is a popular and diligent high school student in class, despite the virtual absence of her parents who force her to take care of her little brother alone. Miyamura is one of his 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 that in Horimiya, things end well, and quickly. Despite their differences, Hori and Miyamura grow closer and date.

The story is a priori fairly agreed. What makes the charm of Horimiya, and the success of this manga series (itself adapted from a popular webcomic in the early 2010s), is precisely that it assumes its banality. Rather than undergoing a somewhat artificial suspense, we very quickly get what we were promised (an adorable and rather realistic love story) and we enjoy the sequel: the daily life of a young couple and their friends. who love, bicker and support each other at a pivotal time in their lives. Horimiya is not an original story. But it’s a great summer read, if you fancy a bit of levity.

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

The data transmitted through this form is intended for PressTiC Numerama, in its capacity as data controller. These data are processed with your consent for the purpose of sending you by e-mail news and information relating to the editorial content published on this site. You can oppose these e-mails at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe links present in each of them. For more information, you can consult our entire personal data processing policy.

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