Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, has teamed up with Jaclyn Friedman and Renee Bracey Sherman to create a guide to protecting yourself from online harassment.
Sarkeesian is an academic and a YouTube personality who has often been the target of harassment and threats for her work deconstructing the roles of women in video games. Friedman is anti-rape activist and founder of Women, Action & the Media (WAM!), and Renee Bracey Sherman is the author of Saying Abortion Aloud.
The guide, “Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment” is intended to help people avoid becoming targets of harassment–not by avoiding the spotlight, but by keeping personal information safe and secure. The guide is available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.
It goes deep into subjects like social media, and how to document and report harassment when it happens, but opens with three crucial tips about passwords and how to sponge the Internet of your personal information. This section, about preventing doxing, is one that can seem intimidating and impossible. You can read that section, and the rest of the guide, here.
In a blog post, Feminist Frequency wrote that the guide, “was made necessary by the failure of social media services to adequately prevent and deal with the hateful targeting of their more marginalized users.”
Over the course of the last year Sarkeesian has done work with individual companies to teach them how they can better keep people safe. She discussed that work at GeekGirlCon, along with Crash Override Network founder and game designer Zoe Quinn. Crash Override Network helps victims of doxing and harassment reclaim their lives.
Hopefully with guides like this to help people be prepared, some people will never reach the point where they need a resource like Crash Override.
Until social media platforms and other websites institute more stringent measures to protect their users, resources like this are vital to online existence.