Government Surveillance: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
John Oliver Shows Just How Horrible Internet Harassment Can Be for Women
If you're a woman, especially one with an opinion, you've likely been subjected to harassment online. Sometimes the threats go far enough to make you feel physically unsafe. And even though women around the world have openly talked about it for years, many police officers and lawmakers seem to shrug it off. On Sunday'sLast Week Tonight, John Oliver tackled the very serious issue, complete with a few Rick Rolls to lighten it up a bit, because things getdark.
Oliver highlighted testimony from women like Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, and Amanda Hess, who have been affected by these direct and dangerous threats to the point of involving police. "It can potentially affect any woman who makes the mistake of having a thought in her mind, and then vocalizing it online," Oliver said. "If you're thinking, 'Well, come on, that doesn't seem like that big a problem,' well, congratulations on your white penis."
Police are often ill equipped to handle threats like this, and it's even worse when it comes to revenge porn. Oliver slammed the "victim-blamey" sentiment that the women who share these photos are at fault. "Here's a fun game: Insert any other crime into those same sentences," he said. "'Listen guys, if you don't want to get burgled, don't live in a house!'" But there does seem to be a little hope; Twitter and Reddit banned revenge porn, and Google just announced it would remove revenge porn from search results upon request.
The segment ended with a spot-on parody of those '90s AOL commercials featuring Rob Huebel and Colin Hanks. "Here's a random woman from Minneapolis who just said how she felt about something. Want me to make her fear for her life?" It's funny because it's so depressingly true.
Video: Net Neutrality II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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