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Last Week Tonight: John Oliver tackles harassment of women on the Internet

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Emily Shur/HBO

On Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took a look at how far the Internet has come since it rose to prominence in the 1990s as a tool to make users’ lives easier. Oliver started off by poking fun at Internet trolls, but then dove into the online threats that can hurt women.

The comedian showed some of the “colorful threats” women in the videogame industry receive, and went on to say that any woman who expresses her own thoughts on the Internet is vulnerable to these types of dangerous comments — which often include threats of rape and murder.

In many cases, authorities are not equipped to deal with these types of crimes. “If a woman turns up to a police station saying someone threatened her life on Twitter, the answer ‘What’s Twitter?’ is woefully inadequate,” Oliver said.

“We’ve allowed things to get to a place where women can fear for their lives for something they’ve said online,” Oliver concluded, before showing a reinvented AOL ad that speaks more truthfully about how many people use the Internet today.

Watch the full clip above.

Emily Shur/HBO

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