Book Review: Hate Crimes in Cyberspace


One of the main points that Author Danielle Keats Citron mentions in her book is when she says that the internet is a brutal place.  She says one reason for this is cyberstalking because it lead to threats of violence, privacy invasions and reputation-harming lies.  She also mentions that cyberstalkers also use their technological abilities against their victims.

“3.4 million adults are victims of stalking each year and one of them experiences cyberstalking,”  Citron says.  “Legislators and site operators have been, until recently, unwilling or unable to do much about it.”

Another main point she mentions is that she talks about potential remedies.  She proves her point when she says that a troubling concern is that naming and shaming harassers can exacerbate the abuse and it led to other supporters being harassed as well.  Citron also proves her point when she favored a more proactive legal approach.

“Criminal convictions are powerful deterrents because of their lasting collateral consequences,” Citron says.  “Even if harassers are not afraid of being sued because they have no money to lose or they might fear a criminal conviction that would appear on their records forever.”

I think that the strongest of this book is when she talked about cyberstalking.  Citron mentioned that cyber harassment victims struggle especially with anxiety and then led to panic attacks.  “Cyber stalking victimization strongly correlates with time spent online,” Citron says.  “Especially for young people who are online for hours a day.”

Citron also mentions that harassing people online is less of a cheap shot and less harmful than talking to them face to face in reality.



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