Sadly, in this day and age, receiving online rape threats is commonplace for a lot of women, and those who send the threats often go unpunished.
But one Australian game reviewer – who receives weekly rape threats online – has decided to approach this problem in her own unique way.
Alanah Pearce, 22, was getting sick and tired of replying to these disgusting threats from internet trolls, so she decided to start contacting the mums of the young men responsible to tell them exactly how their son has been spending their time online.
Alanah – who is a Toys & Culture Editor at IGN Entertainment in San Francisco – got daily abuse and said on average she receives one rape threat a week. Most come through Facebook and Youtube, the Daily Mail reports.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, she said:
Everyone I’ve managed to identify that has sent me a rape threat has been a male, and a surprising amount of them have been young boys, but I don’t stop to ask them their age before banning or reporting their comments.
Often she’ll ban and ignore online trolls but, if she can, she’ll inform a parent or guardian. She believes it is important for these little bastards to feel the consequences of their actions.
Sometimes young boys on Facebook send me rape threats, so I've started telling their mothers. pic.twitter.com/0Cbs81eXiE
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) November 28, 2014
For anyone who sends me any kind of threat on Facebook, I will go to their profile and try to find personal information. For young boys I usually look for parents or family listed on their profile, and then send them a screenshot of the abuse their son has sent me. I’ve also contacted schools before if I’ve been unable to contact parents. I think it’s an effective response to online harassment because it gives real world consequences to online actions.
Parents in the past have acted defensively and didn’t believe that their child could do such a thing, but some have taken some pretty severe action and removed their kids online privileges.
Alanah – who dealt with online bullying at school – said the best thing to do was just to ignore it.
If you have the option to give someone real-world consequences for their action you may be able to teach them not to do it again, but you should never respond to them directly, especially not online. They want attention, so if you give it to them they’re unlikely to go away.
That’s some pretty good advice right there- fair play to her.