Three reasons why internet harassment is not ‘freedom of speech’

If I wanted to, I could walk up to a stranger on the street right now and threaten to kill them.

That isn’t a good reason to threaten to kill someone, but I totally could if I wanted—never mind the fact that the person I threaten might actually feel unsafe or tell me off as a result.

This is the kind of thinking I imagine dominates the minds of people who feel the need to defend their right to say whatever they want online, be it hate speech, rape threats, death threats, you name it.

If you’ve spent more than two minutes on the Internet, you’ve probably seen what I’m talking about—trolling, bullying, insincere but deliberately hurtful comments, and other things that no one would say to another person’s face offline.

Read it at Everyday Feminism.

Image – AFP

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