Some people say the only way to stop online harassment is to stop going online. Well, we aren't going anywhere. Reclaim Your Domain is Refinery29's campaign to make the internet (and the world outside of it) a safer space for everyone — especially women.
Martin Shrekli, the price-gouging pharmaceutical exec and all-around cultural troll, can add convicted felon to his CV. Earlier this year, he was also suspended from Twitter for sexually harassing Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca over the platform. Yesterday, Duca posted a thread on Twitter explaining her feelings on the targeted harassment she received from Shkreli, as well as the larger issue of women constantly being harassed on the site.
She first begins her thread by uploading a screen shot from an unnamed fellow journalist on the 28th of July, who asks her for a comment regarding something vulgar Shkreli said about her on a live stream. Threading her tweets from there, she reacts to the news that Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud, writing that the "only person Martin Shkreli wound up fucking was himself." Duca then goes on to point out that numerous commenters and news articles judged her for taking "minimal" steps to protect her safety, even after her social security number was doxxed.
Back in March, Duca spoke to Refinery29, telling us, "Martin Shkreli is engaged in targeted harassment, and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended," but that "it's unfortunate that the only reason people are paying attention is because he's relatively high-profile. Trolling seems to be an automatic occupational hazard for female writers who receive any level of professional attention. That's something Twitter needs to work harder to fix, but obviously the problem runs far deeper."
The idea that women are somehow responsible for their online harassment simply because they choose to be public with their opinions is nothing new. Writers like Lindy West and Roxane Gay have been vocal about the threats they've received. Monica Lewinsky is still arguably the first high-profile case of online bullying, and she's become a spokeswoman for victims.