GRANT #377:

Games and Online Harassment Support Hotline

12/17/2019
Because The Gaming Industry Just Had Its #MeToo Reckoning: Who You Gonna Call?

One of the sicknesses unique to our time is online bullying, harassment, abuse, and destruction of people’s peaceful lives. One of the first people to get famous for being targeted is the scholar/activist/author Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, target of Gamergate; Anita made national news when death threats forced cancellation of her speech at Utah State University She is featured in the current documentary NETIZENS, which details how Anita and other women were subjected to unconscionable invasions of privacy and safety. Anita knows what it feels like to wake up to a living nightmare. That’s why she and Vu Gandin Le are creating a hotline for people who find themselves in crisis situations caused by online harassment. Vu brings 18 years of suicide prevention experience with him, and will serve as Hotline Director. The hotline will come too late for former California Congresswoman Katie Hill but the idea is to offer real-time consultation and resources from experts in dealing with a modern form of personal terrorism. What makes The Games and Online Harassment Hotline different from other services for people in crisis? This one is going to be more than just a sympathetic listening ear. People being doxxed or swatted or hit with revenge porn need emergency help in coping with the trauma and limiting the damage. Currently, mental health professionals and crisis intervention specialists are being recruited to partner on the project. Our Awesome Without Borders grant will help pay for the text messaging platform. We sincerely hope you never need a hotline like this, and if you do, we hope Anita and her team have been able to create it for you.