Kathy Sierra’s tech blog was a hit until she started receiving frightening, graphic sexual threats and comments. She canceled speaking appearances and eventually stopped blogging. “I will never feel the same,” she wrote. “I will never be the same.”
Victims of cyber harassment—who are disproportionally women—can have their lives nearly ruined by vicious cyberthreats. Yet these threats are often dismissed by authorities.
Danielle Keats Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland, argues that these victims should be protected by criminal laws and civil rights laws—which “are rarely invoked,” for such cases, she says. “We need to enhance criminal, tort, and civil rights laws’ ability to deter and punish harassers,” she writes. “Victims cannot and should not have to wrestle with cyber harassment on their own.”