Anita Sarkeesian thinks Twitter’s improved harassment policy is a step in the right direction, but she’s not ready to give them a round of applause just yet.
“They’re actually starting to do their jobs,” Sarkeesian said at a panel at Tina Brown’s Women in the World conference Thursday. “They don’t need a cookie for that.”
She was joined by actress Ashley Judd, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon in a panel called “Taming the Trolls,” moderated by Katie Couric.
Sarkeesian said she was “impressed” with the recent steps Twitter has taken to stop harassment, noting that a response that would have taken 6 months last year now takes about 20 minutes. Still, she noted, “I’ll probably be harassed during this live-stream.”
“The method to report is staggeringly inadequate,” said actress and anti-harassment activist Ashley Judd, adding that she’d like to help solve the problem. “I’m aggravated they haven’t reached out to me, I’m low hanging fruit.”
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has been proactive about prosecuting cyber crimes, but she thinks that tech companies also have to be more responsive. “When [a victim] contacts the social media site, she thinks there’s no-one to talk to,” she said, adding that law enforcement also need to be taking these crimes more seriously. “We have to let victims know that if they report, something’s going to happen.”
Harris also emphasized that when it comes to cyber crimes and revenge porn, victim blaming is alive and well. Too often, she says, who’ve had private photos posted by a former flame without their permission are asked why they allowed the photos to be taken, as if the exposure were their fault. “It’s normal” to take intimate photos, Harris said, comparing nude selfies to racy Polaroids from the ’70s. There needs to be a conversation about prevention, Harris says, but we should be “doing it in a way that does not blame the victim.”
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