As we know from the young people we talk to each day, online harassment is a pervasive, and vicious, problem. In fact, 4 in 10 Internet users say they’ve experienced harassment of some kind. 84% of people believe there is a real-life risk and emotional impact from online harassment. And crucially, people between the ages of 18 to 29 are most at risk. Despite these disheartening numbers, I believe we can change the way people interact online and create a kinder and braver community, and luckily, I’m not alone.
When my daughter and I founded Born This Way Foundation, we did so with the understanding that making a kinder, braver world requires collaboration and real action. That’s why I’m excited to announce a new partnership that embodies both of those elements of our mission.
Intel, Vox Media, Re/code and Born This Way Foundation are coming together to launch Hack Harassment (#hackharassment), a new, collaborative initiative to fight online harassment and provide safer, more inclusive online experiences. The goal of this project is not just one of awareness but to also increase accountability, advance technology solutions, and affect positive change.
For the thousands of young people who have experienced some form of online harassment, the time for action is now. The issue has gone under reported, and unaddressed, for too long, and too often, with very real consequences.