Online abuse threatens to erode equality gains that have taken decades to achieve.
When Informed Opinions heard from the women in our database about how brutal the attacks targeting them had become, we created our #ToxicHush Online Action Kit to offer them guidance on how to deal with it. But we can’t make victims responsible for addressing this crime. Curbing online harms is about promoting free speech by safeguarding public conversations.
We expect the companies making the drugs we take, and the cars we drive, to assess the risks involved and show how they’ve ensured our safety. We need to demand similar transparency from billion-dollar tech corporations. Legacy media aren’t allowed to disseminate hate; social media platforms have had a free pass for too long.
They didn’t invent misogyny, racism, homophobia — but they facilitate anonymity, promote conflict, and amplify abuse. Platforms that profit from this must be made accountable. The U.K., the EU and Australia are all demanding this. Canadian governments at all levels must do the same.