In January, I published a story in Pacific Standard about my experience receiving rape and death threats online, and the failure of police and tech companies to respond appropriately to threats, stalking, and harassment of women on the Internet. One irony of writing the piece is that I have now become a person who law enforcement officials and social media employees are very eager to help out. At a panel about digital exploitation this summer, an FBI agent gave me his personal contact information, in case my stalker resurfaced; a press contact at Twitter encouraged me to forward him the abuse reports I file on the network to ensure that the site’s moderators field them appropriately. Problem solved for me—and nobody else.
We are no longer in an era where threats lodged over the Internet are routinely laughed off as meaningless gestures that ought to be ignored by victims, law enforcement, and society at large. But a class system has emerged, one in which it's often the richest, most famous, or otherwise well-connected victims who stand to benefit from this recent societal attitude adjustment.