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For women the internet is as unsafe a place as 'real life' is

Jon Oliver

Jon Oliver

John Oliver's take on the online harassment of women is as comprehensive as it gets.

The internet is a universe. It is full of possibilities and information and wonderful things like a million photos of cats. In today's world, we cannot even think of functioning without the internet. From tweeting about our lives to connecting with friends over Facebook; from uploading photos of our breakfast on Instagram, to being up to date with news on various websites; from pornography at one click to find our way on Google Maps; we just cannot live without the internet.

But like anything, there is a flip-side to it. When there exists a medium that allows you to express your opinion, it also has scope to allow people to troll you, to make threats against you, to be abusive to you, to harm you and all of this under the mask of anonymity.

Women, in particular, are targeted upon by people in vast numbers. There are times when we don't agree with opinions. There are times when we think that something that someone is saying has zero factual basis. And in these instances, we are well within our rights to point that out.

But while some choose to go about it in a civil manner, a lot of people go with the more "fun" way: abuses and threats. And a majority of times, it is a woman at the receiving end.

Does this mean that the internet is no different from the real world at all? That is an incorrect question really, because the internet IS the real world. It is just a different medium. The real question is, how can we void it.

On human terms, there is an immediate necessity for us to learn civility. On legal terms, there are a lot of laws that need to be changed and new ones that need to be incorporated.

But harassment on the internet does not always come out in the form of rape or death threats. It has another vile outlet called 'Revenge Porn'. For those who don't know, 'Revenge Porn' is the act of putting up intimate photos of your ex on the internet for everyone to see, to satisfy your urge to 'get even' with them.

Every week, John Oliver discusses a problem that affects our society as a whole. Even though his show is America specific, this is one issue that has been rampant for years now and is the same in every country.

This episode is not only educative, but also forces us to introspect upon how we too may have been responsible for making yet another avenue unsafe for women, because of our apathy or ignorance.