Compliance » Law Failing Victims Of Online Harassment

Law Failing Victims Of Online Harassment

February 18, 2016

After butting up against a legal system woefully unprepared to handle the severe, life-damaging online harassment she has suffered, video game developer Zoe Quinn has dropped a criminal harassment case in favor of speaking publicly about her experience. Quinn’s saga, which has been epic enough to earn the nickname “Gamergate,” began when her ex-boyfriend posted a 9,000-word screed against her on the Internet. He and his online supporters began to send Quinn death threats, promising to rape and kill her. They uncovered old nude photos, hacked her website, and placed multiple threatening phone calls to Quinn’s family members. But Quinn has dealt with lawyers and judges who fail to grasp even the most basic vocabulary concerning Internet threats, and federal, state, and local police departments utterly incapable of tracking down her legion of harassers. She has abandoned her legal challenges, saying, “It’s exhausting, and the whole point of this is to try to reclaim my humanity and stop having to be a ‘good victim’ for the court system. … It doesn’t feel like a battle worth fighting.”

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