Speed Reads


Gloria Steinem: Gamergate is making the web 'especially hostile and dangerous'

Author and activist Gloria Steinem believes the Gamergate online movement is "very dangerous," and turning the internet into a more vicious place.

During an interview at the University of Redlands in Southern California, Steinem shared that she was upset over the threats sent to Utah State University last week, where a person claiming to be a student wrote he planned on unleashing a "Montreal Massacre style attack" during a lecture from feminist speaker Anita Sarkeesian. "It's dangerous," she said. Sarkeesian's visit was canceled due to safety concerns.

The threats being unleashed online are frightening because "the law hasn't caught up yet," Steinem said. "Theoretically, freedom of speech covers it." Being behind a computer screen makes it difficult for people to empathize with one another, Steinem said, because oxytocin only is released when people interact in person. "You're able to be more hostile online," she said.

As someone who has dealt with criticism and name calling for years, Steinem has a standard response for when insults are hurled her way: "I tell people, 'Thank you,'" she said. "They don't know what to do about it."