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Targeted and Trolled: The Reality of Being a Woman Online (an Original Digital Short)

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A feminist campaigner is sent death threats online at a rate of over fifty-per-hour. A woman who shares on social media her experience of rape, so that others might feel brave enough to speak out, is bombarded with abusive messages. More than a hundred female celebrities have their personal nude photographs stolen and published by hackers. The victims of these stories of t A feminist campaigner is sent death threats online at a rate of over fifty-per-hour. A woman who shares on social media her experience of rape, so that others might feel brave enough to speak out, is bombarded with abusive messages. More than a hundred female celebrities have their personal nude photographs stolen and published by hackers. The victims of these stories of trolling and internet crimes have just one thing in common: their gender. Most of us use the internet every day, but we rarely stop and think about the way we are received there and whether the treatment of women online differs from the treatment of men. As a Buzzfeed journalist, Rossalyn Warren has first-hand experience of the sexism and misogyny targeted at women online – the insults about their appearance, the rape threats, and in some instances even stalking. In Targeted and Trolled, Warren exposes the true extent of the global problem. Informative, empowering and inspiring, this book is both a shocking revelation of the scale of the problem and a message of hope about how men and women are working together to fight back against the trolls.


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A feminist campaigner is sent death threats online at a rate of over fifty-per-hour. A woman who shares on social media her experience of rape, so that others might feel brave enough to speak out, is bombarded with abusive messages. More than a hundred female celebrities have their personal nude photographs stolen and published by hackers. The victims of these stories of t A feminist campaigner is sent death threats online at a rate of over fifty-per-hour. A woman who shares on social media her experience of rape, so that others might feel brave enough to speak out, is bombarded with abusive messages. More than a hundred female celebrities have their personal nude photographs stolen and published by hackers. The victims of these stories of trolling and internet crimes have just one thing in common: their gender. Most of us use the internet every day, but we rarely stop and think about the way we are received there and whether the treatment of women online differs from the treatment of men. As a Buzzfeed journalist, Rossalyn Warren has first-hand experience of the sexism and misogyny targeted at women online – the insults about their appearance, the rape threats, and in some instances even stalking. In Targeted and Trolled, Warren exposes the true extent of the global problem. Informative, empowering and inspiring, this book is both a shocking revelation of the scale of the problem and a message of hope about how men and women are working together to fight back against the trolls.

30 review for Targeted and Trolled: The Reality of Being a Woman Online (an Original Digital Short)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    This short book looks at the ever present problem of the abuse women receive online on a daily or even hourly basis. It highlights recent cases which have resulted in prosecutions and also successful ways women have banded together to confront their abusers and shame them into stopping the abuse. It is easy to tell people who are being abused online to switch their computers off and walk away or to just ignore the abuse but that isn't the answer. It should be possible for women to have an online This short book looks at the ever present problem of the abuse women receive online on a daily or even hourly basis. It highlights recent cases which have resulted in prosecutions and also successful ways women have banded together to confront their abusers and shame them into stopping the abuse. It is easy to tell people who are being abused online to switch their computers off and walk away or to just ignore the abuse but that isn't the answer. It should be possible for women to have an online presence which doesn't make them the target of abuse. For many people the internet is where they work and conduct at least some of their social lives. They should be free to do this without going in fear of their lives for expressing opinions which may be unpopular with some people. This thought provoking book isn't saying men don't receive abuse online but it does point out that women are the main recipients of sexualised abuse threatening them with rape as well as death. In general men might be told they're stupid for holding the views they express but they won't find the person who disagrees with them also telling them that they will be raped or killed. My own experience is that abusers often target your perceived lack of ability to attract men as though that is the be-all and end-all of a woman's life. I dared to suggest to someone on a forum that perhaps if they used different search terms they might get more of the results they wanted and he immediately came back with a comment about how he was sure I lived alone and had never been married! I cannot imagine a man receiving that type of comment in response to an innocuous suggestion. A man would have been more likely to have been thanked for their help. This is a subject which everyone who uses the internet should be concerned about as it threatens to drive women off the internet altogether.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lacey

    Not too in depth but an interesting read about women's experiences on the internet. Some interesting case reports and a great introduction to the issues. Not too in depth but an interesting read about women's experiences on the internet. Some interesting case reports and a great introduction to the issues.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sana - Literati Psyche

    Follow the official blog tour:  https://lemebefictional.wordpress.com... A book about the reality and facts which women faces everyday in their lives. Targeted and Trolled is precisely written and portrays the true image of this gender oriented society. The book highlighted some incidents which happened to some of the renowned women who are raising their voices against sexual harassment and supporting the victims. Abuse and shaming are the very common examples of online harassment which women faces Follow the official blog tour:  https://lemebefictional.wordpress.com... A book about the reality and facts which women faces everyday in their lives. Targeted and Trolled is precisely written and portrays the true image of this gender oriented society. The book highlighted some incidents which happened to some of the renowned women who are raising their voices against sexual harassment and supporting the victims. Abuse and shaming are the very common examples of online harassment which women faces more than men. Most of us would have witnessed these acts on many of the social networking sites. Often men are not aware that women are sexually abused and shamed on internet. Mostly, online harassment is gender biased. Men are usually harassed and shamed for intellectual in abilities where as women are harassed and abused sexually for being an online user. Minorities are also targeted often. Muslim women are mostly trolled for sharing their opinion online and they are usually sexually harassed and abused by male online users from other religions. Being a Pakistani female citizen, I can totally understand the way society often blames the woman. In some rural areas women are not allowed to have social media profiles and to be an online user. The main cause of this mindset is the fear of being sexually harassed online. Due to media awareness and campaigns led by NGOs this mindset is changing. Most of the times Pakistani women are not even aware of the term online harassment. As Rossalyn has stated in the book, that most of the times women think that online harassment is a part of the deal for being an online user. "Do no harm, take no shit." -- Wilson Wilson also put an emphasis on  women that owning their voice is a powerful tool which they must use online. Kati Heng's way to spread out the word against harrasment: http://stopthecatcall.tumblr.com   "Rememeber this is your internet, this is your technology. This is your online space you need to reclaim."  -- Nighat Dad Nighat's work against cyber bullying:  http://digitalrightsfoundation.pk It good to know that women all around the globe are fighting in their own ways against online harassment and sexual harassment. Victims are raising their voices and spreading out the word through social media to spread awareness and to support each other. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700"] Katarzyna Babis, an art student in Poland, decided to tackle this issue with simple comics that illustrate the problems with different forms of victim blaming.[/caption] I just came across this article which focuses on ending the victim blaming. Read more:  http://www.boredpanda.com/victim-blaming-illustrations-katarzyna-babis/ -----------------------------------------   This is a must read book. Rating: 5/5   Disclaimer: I got a galley of this e-book via publisher and getting a review copy does not altered my opinion of this book.    

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I requested this book because, duh, female on the internet here. This obviously concerns me, even if I haven't been trolled before (touch wood). Unfortunately, I didn't notice that it was an "originally internet short", so I was a little disappointed, as I was expected a meatier book. The good about this book is that it very clearly illustrates the severity of women being targeted on the internet for their gender. Some of the case studies are truly horrifying, and this is something that never sho I requested this book because, duh, female on the internet here. This obviously concerns me, even if I haven't been trolled before (touch wood). Unfortunately, I didn't notice that it was an "originally internet short", so I was a little disappointed, as I was expected a meatier book. The good about this book is that it very clearly illustrates the severity of women being targeted on the internet for their gender. Some of the case studies are truly horrifying, and this is something that never should have happened to someone. Unfortunately, the book does not go into much depth. It's almost as if it's a collection of news articles, with a little analysis inside. Personally, I was looking forward to reading about the causes of such harassment, because to know the cause would be to know how solve this problem at the root. The other thing that disappointed me was that the book was rather one-sided. I don't mean that the book should be looking at men being targeted, since this isn't the topic, but I feel it's important to talk about the fact that targeting of women by women can happen (and suggestions on what we can do to stop it (do I shout back? Do I back down because she's a fellow woman?) would have been very welcome too). For example, Requires Hate was a woman whose targets were 73% women. And this was very vicious targeting, with death threats. You should all read the expose by Laura J. Mixon, who very deservedly won the Hugo 2015 award for best fan writer. It seems odd to me that this didn't even warrant a mention, given the extent and length of abuse (as well as the identity of Requires Hate). All in all, this is an adequate introduction to the darker side of the internet (if you are a woman). Personally, I feel that the book should have looked at this in depth (and not be a short) - if the other readers are like me, what's in this is really just preaching to the choir, with the information and in-depth analysis wanted lacking. Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Bradley

    This isn't a long read but it is an interesting read. The internet is a wide open space where many many people congregate without invitation or prior checks. And due to the unfettered access the internet gives a person to their fellow human beings, trouble can be a side effect. This book looks at one of those effects. How trolls on the internet treat women online. It is a real problem for women because, when they are targeted they are threatened with acts like rape. The book says this can only h This isn't a long read but it is an interesting read. The internet is a wide open space where many many people congregate without invitation or prior checks. And due to the unfettered access the internet gives a person to their fellow human beings, trouble can be a side effect. This book looks at one of those effects. How trolls on the internet treat women online. It is a real problem for women because, when they are targeted they are threatened with acts like rape. The book says this can only happen to women, but that's not true. Men can be raped so I'm sure somewhere, there are some nasty individuals who are vile enough to threaten to rape men because of the power it gives them. But, it's true, in the main, women are threatened in a violently sexual way if not agreed with. It's been evidenced in recent times and this book gave more evidence to back that claim up. It is a very pessimistic book and gives the view that this hideous way of living online is the only way women are treated in the online world, but having spent many years on Twitter, I have to say, I have loved every minute of it and have made some wonderful real life friends. Yes, if a woman stands out from the crowd then she can be targeted and that is certainly not acceptable. But there were no real answers in here. I felt a little like I was being banged over the head with how awful things are, but there were no musings on how we can right the problem. Consultations with organisations to liaise with Twitter and Facebook about dealing quickly and promptly with online shaming and bullying? I have Jon Ronson's, So You Have Been Publicly Shamed, on my bookcase and I'm looking forward to reading it to see what he has to offer on the subject. The online world and it's whole other ecosystem just fascinates me. How people believe they can behave differently to how they behave when they are face to face with people is bizarre. This does make for an interesting read, but I'd have liked a bit more to it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Go Book Yourself

    Also published on my book blog http://www.gobookyourself.info/2015/1... I was a little disappointed with this book. I just expected more, a more in depth study of trolling. I would have loved to read something I could really get my teeth into. Something delving into the psyche of those who feel the need to constantly ridicule others online while hiding behind anonymous profiles. I thought this book would get to the heart of the issue and really explore the whys. Why do men feel the need to use sex Also published on my book blog http://www.gobookyourself.info/2015/1... I was a little disappointed with this book. I just expected more, a more in depth study of trolling. I would have loved to read something I could really get my teeth into. Something delving into the psyche of those who feel the need to constantly ridicule others online while hiding behind anonymous profiles. I thought this book would get to the heart of the issue and really explore the whys. Why do men feel the need to use sexual remarks when having an argument with the opposite sex online? Why is it when a girl is raped and the images are posted on line she is a slut and the men are almost pitied because they had such "bright futures"? I felt like this book didn't really try to answer or even investigate the real issues behind such behavior. It was a short repetitive read: This happened. It was really bad. It shouldn't have happened. That happened. It was really bad. It shouldn't have happened. Rinse and repeat. Most of the stories are ones that you'll remember from the news. It just replays what happened and leaves it at that. So yes it can be hard to be a woman online but this book doesn't really delve into why that is which led to my 2 star rating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helen Marquis

    This book suffers from being a short as it's an excellent topic that really deserves a more detailed and in-depth exploration than this format can offer. As it stands, this is more of a superficial look at some of the worst cases of the online trolling of women, with a small amount of accompanying comment. Apart from a couple of examples of trolled women who took resolving their situation into their own hands (such as contacting the parents of young trollers and sharing their rape threats, doing This book suffers from being a short as it's an excellent topic that really deserves a more detailed and in-depth exploration than this format can offer. As it stands, this is more of a superficial look at some of the worst cases of the online trolling of women, with a small amount of accompanying comment. Apart from a couple of examples of trolled women who took resolving their situation into their own hands (such as contacting the parents of young trollers and sharing their rape threats, doing a naked photo shoot to counteract revenge porn and reclaim your naked form), there sadly seems little hope here for those who fall victim to this 21st Century problem. A great conversation starter, but ultimately unsatisfactory due to its short form.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I used to intern for a nonprofit that did a lot of work on online harassment, so I expected a lot of this book to be familiar. And it was. But it still made me angry. Warren does such a great job of concisely highlighting all the forms of harassment women face online and their effects. This book is made for the people who protest that women don't have it that bad because men receive online harassment too. I used to intern for a nonprofit that did a lot of work on online harassment, so I expected a lot of this book to be familiar. And it was. But it still made me angry. Warren does such a great job of concisely highlighting all the forms of harassment women face online and their effects. This book is made for the people who protest that women don't have it that bad because men receive online harassment too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shiori

    Important subject, interesting ideas - unfortunately the whole thing is let down by a lack of depth. The situations presented are complex but the exploration of them, particularly with regard to the actual women involved, is lacking.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Cartmell

    An interesting insight into the issue of bullying on the internet.. A sad look at the inhumanity that exists on the internet today. I received a review copy via Netgalley.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah McMullan

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jack Sommers

  13. 5 out of 5

    Celia

  14. 4 out of 5

    Myriam

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elena

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paul Holland

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dani

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lianne Marie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Cox

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  21. 4 out of 5

    Veta

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ade

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Eisenberg

  24. 5 out of 5

    michelle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Queenanthai

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Georgantopoulos

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beulah

  29. 4 out of 5

    S J Warren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

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