Tag Archives: internet

Sometimes I Wish I Hadn’t Written So Much About Sex

sex parties email

A few months ago, Amelia and I were talking about rape threats against women who write online. It seems like it happens to feminist writers Zerlina Maxwell, Amanda Hess and Jessica Valenti every day. Amelia asked if any readers have threatened to rape or otherwise harm me. The honest truth is that it only happened once — on Twitter a few years ago. The man had zero followers and had only tweeted a handful of times, all of which were incendiary remarks or threats against other liberals. I didn’t suspect he posed a serious threat to my safety, so I just blocked him. Do I even have to say I’m grateful that this was the one and only time some stranger threatened me?

That one incident isn’t the complete picture, though. A better question to ask in order to illustrate the at-times unsavory experience of being a feminist writer online would be about the kinds of inquiries I get on social media or in my inbox. Nearly every single day, a man emails asking me personal information about my sexuality, for an invitation to a sex party, or straight-up propositions me for sex. Keep reading »

“Confused Cats Against Feminism” Tumblr Puts An Eyeroll-Worthy Social Media Meme To Bed

cats vs feminism

There’s only one way to address an Internet meme where dumb, mostly-white women insist not to “need” a social justice movement from which they have benefited enormously, and that is with cats. These two Tumblrs have more in common than you think: spoiled, pampered, oblivious … [Confused Cats Against Feminism]

PurrVerse: Adult Sex Workers Are Arrested When We “Think Of The Children”

my redbook

I woke up one morning last week to my Twitter in an uproar. That’s reasonably common in my world, as many of the people I follow are marginalized and there’s a lot to be angry about. Turns out that the FBI has seized MyRedbook, a California site where masseuses and escorts could advertise for clients for free, and arrested two people, Eric Omuro and Annmarie Lanoce,  in connection to “using the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution” as well as money laundering under several aliases.

As of right now it’s not entirely clear if those arrests were the main focus of the sting, or if there will be more upcoming. It’s terrifying to many people close to me, who used MyRedbook to advertise their erotic entertainment services because other options like Eros were too expensive or less trafficked by paying customers. We don’t really know what options sex workers who had profiles up on MyRedbook have to protect themselves from investigation. I’m among them, as I used to advertise on MyRedbook as a professional dominatrix. Keep reading »

Occupy Modern Love

new york times

Dozens of protesters gathered outside The New York Times building on Eighth Avenue last night to protest the no-comment policy of the newspaper’s weekly Modern Love column.

“The Times is suppressing free speech,” said Jax123, who, like many of the protesters, prefers to be called by his screen name. “And since we aren’t allowed to express ourselves in Modern Love, we’re here to make ourselves heard tonight.”

“It’s a monstrous policy,” said Titsrkul from Staten Island, who was holding a placard that read, ‘Stop Internet Abuse. Let Us Comment.’ “If it were another section of the Times that was off-limits, we wouldn’t be so offended. But this is Modern Love. Women are writing about heartbreak and loss, dating and divorce and sometimes even death. This is exactly when our comments are at their most vibrant.” Keep reading »

Lily Allen Confronts Her Internet Trolls

lily allen url badman
"Keyboard Warrior That Can't Spell"

I liked Lily Allen’s song “URL Badman” to begin with, but I love it now that there’s commenters up on YouTube screaming “misandry” over the new music video. (Of course plenty of women hate on other women online and I have experienced that firsthand myself. But generally, my experience with trolls — you know, like the time a bunch of them emailed me with answers to my post “18 Sincere Questions I Would Like To Ask Internet Trolls” — they have all been dudes.) Anyway, this song is totally on point, Lily!

How Many Of Us Are Online At Any Given Second?

Ever wonder just how fast the Internet moves? PennyStocks put together one of the scariest, most mind-blowing GIF charts I’ve ever seen, illustrating just how much activity happens in each second online. This realtime infographic can show you how many people are Instagramming, Snapchatting, tweeting, pinning, and everything else digital under the sun. I can’t decide whether I’m inspired by the vastness of how connected we all are or just guilty over all the computer time I clock in every week. [Gizmodo via PennyStocks]

 

WTF: Two 12-Year-Old Girls Accused Of Stabbing Classmate 19 Times To Impress Creepy, God-Like Internet Character “Slender Man”

WTF: Two 12-Year-Old Girls Accused Of Stabbing Classmate 19 Times To Impress Creepy, God-Like Internet Character "Slender Man"

This story is so full of WTF, I almost don’t know where to begin. Two 12-year-old girls — their names have been published elsewhere, but as they are minors, I am choosing not to — are accused of stabbing another 12-year-old girl 19 times and then leaving her for dead in a Wisconsin woods. CNN said the victim had to literally “crawl to her own rescue” and was found on the side of a road by two passerbys on bikes, who called the police. The little girl immediately told the police who was responsible for the attack, and the two accused girls were taken into custody. According to police, the two had been planning the attack on their friend/classmate for months, with the intention of killing her, in the hopes of impressing someone called “The Slender Man.”

Yeah. WTF. Keep reading »

A Shakespeare-To-GIF Translator Is Coming To The Interwebs And I Can’t Contain Myself

A Shakespeare-To-GIF Translator Is Coming To The Interwebs And I Can't Contain Myself

Two graduate students at the MIT Media Lab have created a research site that quantifies the emotional content of GIFs, and they hope that one day soon it will enable them to translate Shakespeare into GIF-speak. Travis Rich and Kevin Hu launched GIFGIF on March 3, and it’s a whole lot of fun. It’s so much fun, in fact, that it’s attracted an average 15,000 users per day so far, who are each asked upon visiting the homepage to choose which of two GIFs better expresses a certain emotion. Keep reading »

“I Am The King Of Trolls”: An Actual Troll (We Think) Responds To My 18 Sincere Questions For Internet Trolls

a troll responds

Last week, I crowd-sourced questions from my coworkers and friends and wrote a silly post called “18 Sincere Questions I Would Like To Ask Internet Trolls.” I’ve dealt with trolls and other unsavory types just about everywhere that I have an Internet presence and I thought I’d muse out loud about some of the stuff I’ve always wondered about them. Questions like “Do you own a fedora?” were intended to be tongue-in-cheek. And yet over the weekend, emails began filling my inbox from self-described trolls answering all 18 questions. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

One of these self-described trolls wrote a fairly in-depth response that was disturbing, fascinating and (seemingly) candid. He wrote about bullying he faced at school, his favorite target for trolling (Bible thumpers) and his thoughts on whether he is a narcissist and sociopath. He has agreed to let us publish under the condition of anonymity.

Of course I cannot — as they say at actual news outlets — “independently confirm” that this person is actually a troll. Instead of honest reflections from the trolling underbelly, he could be spewing total horsehit and may well be trolling us with these responses. There’s no way to really fact-check trolldom, so take these answers with a grain of salt. (But personally, given the mostly untroll-like answers to these questions, I’m inclined to believe this troll is more real than fake.)

After the jump, his responses, republished with permission and wholly unedited: Keep reading »

18 Sincere Questions I Would Like To Ask Internet Trolls

internet trolls

Who amongst us was surprised when the results of a recent survey found that Internet trolls are actually psychopaths and sadists? Canadian researchers applied personality inventories to Internet commenting styles and found that trolls are just as fucked-up as we thought, i.e. more likely than other people to show signs of sadism (deriving pleasure from hurting others), psychopathy, and Machiavellianism (disregard for how your immoral behavior affects others).  I am surprised that narcissistic personality disorder didn’t crop up in there, too, but perhaps it can’t be diagnosed over an Internet survey.

xoJane explained as much in their recent essay, “I Was Friends With An Internet Troll,” about a woman who befriended troll and later came to regret it.  “[A]ll I saw materialize was a really sad dude, a man who was drunk more often than not, and always in the middle of an argument,” wrote author Bree Davies. “This is the picture of an Internet troll in real life: an unhappy, substance-abusing, violent, unemployed liar with no friends. I know this isn’t the story of every Internet troll, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the story of many of them.” Indeed. Keep reading »

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