John Oliver Explains How Trolls Make the Internet a Living Hell for Women


Online harassment is a serious problem, one that’s constantly perpetuated by internet trolls spewing direct and oftentimes violent threats to specific users. If you’re thinking this characterization is an exaggeration, John Oliver had the following message for you on Sunday:

“Congratulations on your white penis, because if you have one of those, you probably have a very different experience of the internet.” As he went onto explain, “women in particular can receive a veritable cornucopia of horrifying messages online.” 

On the latest Last Week Tonight, Oliver took the issue to task by talking to female gamers and writers, many of whom have been the targets of a wide range of threats and revenge porn. “It can potentially affect any woman who makes the mistake of having a thought in her mind and then vocalizing it online,” he explained.

It’s perhaps even more disturbing how little legal protection women have when faced with such harassment.

For more on internet harassment and the online movement known as #Gamergate, check out our in-depth report here.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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