A Russian jet has been shot down by a NATO member. Syria is in flames. Europe is under siege. Most importantly, though, women are being insulted on the internet.
Yes, it’s Thursday, and that means U.N. Women, that increasingly wild-eyed branch of the United Nations, is once again complaining about what it calls “cyberviolence against women and girls.” Having beaten this dead horse until it reanimated and tried to escape, U.N. Women have now secured the assistance of the BBC, who promptly shot the horse and started beating it again.
The BBC feature quotes a widely discredited study from the U.N. on “cyberviolence,” which, contrary to research from the Pew Centre and the Demos think tank, makes the extraordinary claim that “95% of all aggressive and denigrating behaviour in online spaces is aimed at women.” The BBC also embedded an infographic that categorises “forwarding a sexist joke” and “abusive SMS messages” under “forms of violence.”
To put it another way: the BBC, like U.N. women, thinks insulting a woman online constitutes violence. And they say chivalry’s dead.
The BBC report also fulfilled its taxpayer-funded, guaranteed, 100% genuine obligation to provide neutral reporting that fairly represents both sides of controversies.
They defined GamerGate, the movement for consumer rights and higher standards in journalism, as a “hate campaign.” This is no doubt the result of their reliance on feminist nuthouse Take Back The Tech! as a source — the organisation’s head thinks GamerGate should be illegal.
The BBC is, of course, several months late to the party. The “cyberviolence” report was released in late September, and Breitbart quickly recognised its flaws. Others soon followed, noticing that many of the report’s recommendations would lead to government control of the internet. The report was subsequently withdrawn for revision, but not before it had been torn apart by serious analysts.
The central absurdity of the report is its effort to redefine mean tweets and social media messages as “violence,” but it was also amusing in its sheer lack of rigour. Over 30 per cent of its citations were broken or missing. One of them even linked to the local hard drive of a researcher.
This is the latest in a long series of attempts to criminalise online speech that feminists find offensive. In Canada, they succeeded in putting a Toronto artist, Gregory Alan Elliott, on criminal trial for sending mild criticism to feminists on Twitter.
But they are meeting ever more determined resistance from saner members of society, who are increasingly unwilling to let the distortions of establishment progressives make their way into policy. They are fighting back with humour (the U.N.’s “cyberviolence” hashtag on Twitter is now dominated by mockery of the concept), activism (half of Gregory Alan Elliott’s legal fund has been covered by online supporters), and determined commentary (Cathy Young recently offered a comprehensive rebuttal of common arguments by anti-“online harassment” activists in the Washington Post).
With the tide turning against them, their language grows ever more ridiculous. First there was online harassment. Then “cyberbullying.” Now “cyberviolence.” No doubt it makes sense in the echo-chamber of feminist politics, but it’s unlikely that many neutral onlookers will be convinced.
The final word on cyberviolence, as always, goes to Tyler, The Creator.
Hahahahahahahaha How The Fuck Is Cyber Bullying Real Hahahaha Nigga Just Walk Away From The Screen Like Nigga Close Your Eyes Haha
— Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) December 31, 2012