Thursday, December 04, 2014

I'm Telling On You

How does one respond to violent, abusive threats online? Well if you're Alanah Pearce, you rat them out to their mothers.

Pearce is gaming journalist in Australia, and has worked with several radio and tv stations in the country as their game reviewer. Not a bad gig at 21 years old. And like all gaming personalities, she is subjected to online harassment - more so then most because she's female. (Before you all jump down my throat you know it's true. You should see how many of the comments are not posted on this blog because of it.) Seeing enough on her YouTube Channel, Twitter, Facebook, Pearce began doing some light digging and realized that the abusive comments were not all from adult men (who should know better). Some were from young boys (who should also know better). The adults may be more difficult to persuade, but at least one can use logic and a police threat. Young boys are another matter entirely and don't always understand the power of their words.

So Pearce reached out to one commentator's mother on Facebook:

"Hi Anna, I don't know you, but I was wondering if [blanked] is your son? I have never spoken to him before, but he sent me a concerning message to my public Facebook page today that I was wondering if you might be interested in discussing with him.

She has contacted 4 mothers so far, but only one has responded. The mother who has had a great response, which Pearce had permission to tweet. Ideally, she'd like to have the boys apologize, but more then that to have them see why their words affect not just her, but themselves. We really don't need more asses growing up into this world. I don't know if she'll keep doing this, but I hope she will. Even if there are no further messages from other parents, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're not taking action in correcting their child's behavior. It's still SOMETHING to let people know "hey...this is not cool behavior for any reason." More then what most people do with violent threats.

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