Tuesday, October 27, 2015, at 12:00 pm
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Harvard Law School Campus, Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West A
With the international attention on the torrent of Twitter threats sent to Caroline Criado-Perez in 2013 (and the later prosecution of some of the people who sent her those threats), and national attention on the months-long firestorm associated with #Gamergate, “harassment” is a word that is bandied around with increasing frequency. As it becomes more and more obvious that women are disparately impacted by harassment on the Internet, harassment is framed as a civil rights problem, legal solutions are proposed, and vitriol is hurled at platforms for failing to protect female users. There is a pervasive feeling that there is a crisis on the Internet that pits the safety of women against the freedom of speech. Yet the Internet has long grappled with what to do when unwanted speech makes it unusable. The history of the Web—from its oldest forgotten communities to the decades of anti-spam technology—can offer a new lens through which to understand online harassment, along with lessons and caveats.
Sarah Jeong is a journalist who was trained as a lawyer. She writes about technology, policy, and law. She is the author of The Internet of Garbage, and has bylines at The Verge, Forbes, The Guardian, Slate, and WIRED. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014. As a law student, she edited the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, and worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She is currently a fellow at the Internet Law & Policy Foundry.
In 2015, she covered the Silk Road trial for Forbes.