Lena Dunham's Lenny releases guide to reporting online harassment
Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter newsletter released a detailed guide for victims of online abuse. Writer Casey Johnston explains how to report social media harassment and how each social media outlet tends to respond.
Johnston reports, “a quarter of women ages 18 to 24 report being sexually harassed online, and 26 percent report to being stalked.” She expresses her disappointment that so much of the “burden” of reporting online abuse falls on the victims. However, things are starting to change. According to Johnston, some social media outlets have made changes to their trust-and-safety terms.
In general, Johnston recommends screenshoting any kind of harassment and documenting the abusive account, not just the inappropriate content. The Lenny Letter details reporting information for: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr.
Last year, Dunham said she didn’t read Twitter as much anymore because it was no longer a “safe space” for the actress.
“I didn’t want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really truly wasn’t a safe space for me,” she said in an interview. “I think even if you think you can separate yourself from the kind of verbal violence that’s being directed at you, that it creates some really kind of cancerous stuff inside you. Even if you think, ‘Oh, I can read like 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death,’ and kind of laugh and move on. That’s verbal abuse. Those aren’t words you’d accept in an interpersonal relationship. And those aren’t words that should be directed to you, ever. For me, personally, it was safer to stop.”
Read the full Lenny Letter here.