Zoe Quinn: Violence Against Women Online
I had been dating this guy for 5 months. We broke up and he wrote a manifesto – a sort of call to arms – about me and posted it in online communities that had a reputation for targeting women. The abuse I [then] experienced on Twitter included rape threats and death threats – people calling me ‘a nasty slut’, telling me to ‘die slowly’, saying that I’ would f*ck anybody’. I got tweets from a guy who said that he was carrying a bottle of disinfectant for me to swallow in case he were to see me at a games conference. People were sharing drives full of images and stuff about me to post online – to hurt me. They mass reported my Twitter account and work account [to get them shut down]. My blog was hacked and it was linked to my Twitter account, and so they posted my home address, phone number, dad’s address and dad’s phone number on Twitter. They changed my passwords [to lock me out of my account]. People found nude photos of me that they spread onto Twitter and other platforms – and people would print these photos off, masturbate on them and send them to me on (check how sent them back). People would also text me photos of my house or tweet about dead animals they put in my mailbox…
Every single aspect of my life was impacted by the abuse. People [online] pushed me really hard to kill myself. My partner at the time didn’t leave my side for more than a few hours. For the first few days I couldn’t eat or sleep or drink water. All I could do was watch everything collapse around me. It was and it still is hard to get closer to new people [after going through that].
I have to think three times about everything [I post on Twitter]. A lot of it relies on how ‘fuck it’ I’m feeling that day – which is exhausting. I also have to be very careful about who I visibly support online. If they haven’t been briefed on what me giving them a platform or visibility means [in terms of potential abuse], it is kind of unfair to them. People have set up bots to archive everything that I do and I’m not sure everyone is prepared to handle [the level of abuse I’m used to]. I’ve done a lot to protect myself from online abuse but it does still happen- especially because I have refused to back down or go quiet.
I don’t report shit to Twitter anymore, the reports are just ignored. I gave up reporting to Twitter a very long time ago.