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The thing is, women on the Internet have been struggling with various ways to challenge their sexist adversaries for years. Way back in 2011, Tigerbeatdown.com's Sady Doyle sparked the hashtag #Men Call Me Things, listing every gendered slur, infantilising insult, colourful description of rape, accusation of mental illness, threat of violence, and generally hateful shit that men have thrown at women – online and off.In response, they have been abused, insulted, hacked, threatened, stalked, and intimidated for years. It trended almost immediately and was flooded by thousands of tweets.James Clark School of Engineering found that “chat room participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames”.In the study, which created chat accounts with male and female names and logged them into chats to record interactions, “female usernames, on average, received 163 malicious private messages a day”.
Those who have written about the online hate campaign of Gamergate have expressed the specific fear that their ethnicity will be an obvious target.They receive messages with a photo of their home address with some form of promised threat. Someone threatened to shoot up a university campus because a woman they violently disagreed with was going to speak there. Just ask Veerender Jubbal, a Canadian Sikh blogger who had his image photoshopped to imply he was one of the Paris terror attackers.