At Northeastern this week we had a GamerGate town hall meeting and I thought it’d be useful to share some resources as a follow-up. (For those that want to read up on the particulars, I recommend the articles at RationalWiki and The Washington Post. If you really want details, Wikipedia is exhaustive.)
First, for those who would like to help in efforts at combating sexism and harassment I recommend the Resources for allies article on the GeekFeminism wiki. At the organizational level, I recommend anti-harassment policies and codes of conduct.
For those facing harassment, I am sorry that there are no simple answers. In Reading the Comments (due April 2015) I argue the old axiom that “don’t feed the trolls” is no longer sufficient. In my discussion of haters and Sarkeesian’s experiences I write:
Unfortunately, hate and harassment are a part of online comment for which there is no easy solution. Yet her [Sarkeesian’s] example does indicate that for those that are brave enough, there is an option between “feeding”and “ignoring” the trolls and haters: supporting their victims. I am not suggesting that the target of abuse should engage with the trolls or become a lone vigilante. Nor would I advocate for a bully-battle. What I am hopeful for is that we all be more willing to declare that such behavior is odious and unwelcome and we support targets of abuse—be it emotionally, financially, or legally.
More practically, Ashe Dryden’s post on how to deal with and help those facing online harassment is excellent. Also, at a larger social level—and if one’s needs to invoke legal help—I recommend Danielle Keats Citron’s recent book “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.” For students at university, I also recommend they reach out to supportive faculty and student organizations.