Online Harassment and Cyber Mobs
Cyberbullying, we have all heard of it and most of us have even experienced it in some way or another. There is no doubt, that being deliberately harassed in hostile manners on the Internet can have fatal consequences for the victims. And fatal consequences were exactly what the 15-year-old Amanda Todd suffered. After various sorts of cyberbullying, Amanda Todd was broken down to her cores and on October 10 2012 she committed suicide. Amanda Todd became world famous for a YouTube video, where she exposed all of the different kinds of online harassment that she had been through. More or less the same thing happened to Anita Sarkeesian. Anita launched an online fundraising campaign, to create awareness of how female characters are portrayed as sexual stereotypes in videogames. Unfortunately, Anita did not only launch a campaign, but also the beginning of a time with harsh online harassment against herself, from people who disagreed with her project. Anita is now a major voice when it comes to stopping the harassment of women on the Internet, which she proved in a speech at the TEDxWomen event in 2012.
It is indisputable that Anita Sarkeesian has been through many negatively affected emotions when she was harassed on the Internet, and she is not afraid to let the audience know how it was like. She is of course using pathos to awaken the audience’s feelings, in order for her to get them on her side. Already in the beginning of the speech, she reaches for the audience’s emotions:
“All of my social media were flooded with treats of rape, violence, sexual assaults, death – And you’ll notice that these treats and comments were all specifically targeting me gender.”1
As the quotation shows, the words that she has chosen are very powerful. Words like rape, violence and death are all words that have an immediate shock effect on the audience, which is truly in her favor. Another way that she communicates is with the use of...
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