This is what it takes

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journalistJezebel relates a story of how a harassed reviewer dealt with her harasser:

It’s a story as old as, well, the Internet. A woman is a video game journalist. She receives rape and death threats. The end. But in a delightful new take on the old story, said video game journalist has reached out to the mothers of her harassers, just to let them know what their sons are up to.

Simple solution, and surprisingly effective.  Once the parent knows what the son is doing, the offending behavior stops cold.

I’ve said before that the element of anonymity may be the worst thing that has ever happened to the Internet (at least, in countries where unprovoked political arrests are not common).  Anonymity allows people to do what this harasser does.  Taking away that anonymity generally takes away the harasser.

And the stalker.

And the spammer.

And the phisher.

And the troll.

No, this is certainly not going to solve all the evils of the world.  Not all parents are going to react properly when they find out their sons or daughters are doing.  But in a world where people feel free to act like assholes because they hide behind digital masks, better internet transparency—and much less web anonymity—are in order.

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