Alanah Pearce reviews games and is a girl - a combination that shouldn't be an issue, but sadly is. Recently, she's been dealing with rape threats by contacting the mothers of the people responsible.
Here's how that's been going:
Alanah covers games for numerous outlets, including a TV and radio show and a YouTube channel. She's no stranger to online abuse, having previously catalogued a month of what it's like to be a girl and a gaming critic online.
This new tactic came when she realised that "a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren’t adult males." Essentially, it's children. That led to her tracking down and contacting some of their mothers directly. Because many of the kids involved use their personal profiles for the attack, Alanah says "it’s shockingly easy to find out who their families are."
There's so many levels of sadness to this. That it's children using this sort of language without any real understanding of what they're saying. That the words involved have so little meaning they're happy to use their own personal Facebook account. That it happens at all.
Alanah says this new approach was "a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it’s not okay to be sexist to women. That they are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that. Every time this happens to me, I will do this. I won’t necessarily post it on Twitter, but I will definitely continue doing it.”