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The World According to Pao July 16, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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From Ace yet again, concerning the Ellen Pao implosion at Reddit. Ellen had this to say:

Fully 40 percent of online users have experienced bullying, harassment and intimidation, according to Pew Research. Some 70 percent of users between age 18 and 24 say they’ve been the target of harassers. Not surprisingly, women and minorities have it worst. We were naive in our initial expectations for the Internet, an early Internet pioneer told me recently. We focused on the huge opportunity for positive interaction and information sharing. We did not understand how people could use it to harm others.

Jiminy. Seems like most of us realized that the Internet could be a brutal place when blogs first came into being. I’m pretty sure, reading some of the alt. Usenet threads that preceded blogging, that trolling and online abuse have been with us since the early 80’s.

So Ms. Pao is a little slow and quite a bit more tender than the rest of us.

But I’d like to focus on the standard “women and minorities have it worst” complaint. I looked up the Pew poll to see what it really said, and it said nothing about minorities. Here’s what it said about the comparison between men and women:

PI_2014.10.22__online-harassment-03

Yep, women have it worse when it comes to stalkers and being sexually harrassed, but men experience more abuse in every other category, including threats of physical violence.

Ellen Pao offers us a very distorted view of the Pew poll, suggesting that the rest of her self-flattering story is equally distorted.

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