Title

Open Letter to Jennifer Lawrence

Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date

10-8-2014

Publisher

Forbes

Language

en-US

Abstract

Dear Ms. Lawrence,

Thank you for your public statement on the theft and disclosure of your private photographs. Your sexual privacy was exploited in a humiliating way, as you so poignantly explained. Such abuse should not be tolerated.

In the seven years that I have been working on Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, I’ve seen first hand the barriers to addressing all forms of cyber gender harassment. Victims are turned away by law enforcement because they do not understand the law and the technology or because existing law is not up to the task. They are told to ignore their abusers’ “juvenile antics,” an impossible task because search results of their names are saturated with their nude photos, damaging lies about them, rape threats, and false claims about their interest in sex. They are blamed and fired for the abuse: what did they expect when they took intimate photos? If they were not ready for “heat” in their Twitter feed, they should not engage online.

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