So, what sort of content does the UN want to censor? ISIS recruitment videos, perhaps, which lure women into lives of rape and servitude? Live-streamed executions from Syria? Revenge porn or snuff videos? There’s no shortage of dangerous and potentially traumatising content on the web, after all, much of it disproportionately affecting women.
Alas not. The UN is hung up on “cyber violence against women,” a Kafkaesque term that is apparently shorthand for “women being criticised on the internet.” At least, that’s how at least two attendees at the launch of the UN report, published by the United Nations Broadband Commission, explained it yesterday.
According to feminist culture critic Anita Sarkeesian, who spoke at the event, online “harassment” doesn’t simply consist of what is “legal and illegal,” but “also the day-to-day grind of ‘you’re a liar’ and ‘you suck,’ including all of these hate videos that attack us on a regular basis.”