Monica Lewinsky announced Monday a new campaign to fight cyberbullying and marked its launch by joining Twitter. “Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too,” she said in a speech at the Forbes' 30 Under 30 summit. “I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past.”
Here's exactly what she's up against: Within hours of joining, her mentions feed on Twitter is already a cesspool of bullying and harassment. Apparently, Lewinsky has opted out of showing her mentions.
Issues with cyberbullying aren't limited to just high-profile figures. Average women face online harassment, too—including serious threats of violence and even revenge porn. Amanda Hess has explained how social media giants typically handle such abuse: Women are told, "Ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront you online every day." Their default is to let abusive content stay up, since they are protected legally from what individual users post under the 1996 Communications Decency Act.
There are plenty of people on Twitter who understand that:
@MonicaLewinsky Good luck, and don't be afraid to block the creeps/jerks/haters.— Krista Elliott (@elliottkrista) October 20, 2014