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The first year that more than two women simultaneously served in the U. Senate was Decades later, women now make up nearly a quarter of that legislative body. But as female representation grows, so do efforts to undermine it. Harris 3, times per hour on Twitter.
It has also become increasingly clear that what begins as disinformation — a photoshopped image, a skewed piece of data — can escalate into offline violence. And that combination of online disinformation and offline threats can make many women question whether they even want to enter politics in the first place.
Online attacks on women frequently reference tropes that existed long before the internet, depicting women as mentally unstable or hyper-sexual. Krook said. Another approach paints female politicians as hyper-sexualized. That was what former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia encountered when tabloids ran pictures of another woman in a bikini and fake teen nudes claimed it was her. Other female leaders have also found themselves the target of fake nude photos, like the former Ukrainian parliament member, Svitlana Zalishchukand a Rwandan female presidential candidate, Diane Rwigara.
Rwigara told CNN in Once the disinformation is out there, it is difficult to counter, says Dr. Krook: It is hard to ensure a retraction reaches everyone who saw the inaccurate post, and even if it is seen, it might not change minds. Disinformation spre rapidly, Dr. Krook added, because it taps into and reinforces existing sexist beliefs about female political leaders. With social media, attacks on high-profile women can occur at an unprecedented scale, often anonymously and with impunity. And only in recent years have policymakers begun to focus on the risks that women face because of these online attacks, by publicly addressing them and ing for them in policymaking.
Last fall, federal and state authorities revealed a detailed plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.
Whitmer had become a target of right-wing and anti-government activists because of measures she had taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The group that plotted the kidnapping spied on Ms. The plot was preceded by weeks of online campaigns spreading disinformation about Ms. Right-wing social media s created memes depicting her frothing at the mouth or as a dominatrix shooting lasers from her eyes. At the time, President Donald J. Wilfore said. Republican legislators in Michigan recently introduced a bill that would require Ms.
Whitmer to provide detailed notice when leaving the state, which the State Senate approved despite security concerns raised by Democrats. The plot against Ms. Whitmer made apparent the high stakes of online conspiracy theories.
Di Meco. Di Meco added that the same link between online disinformation and offline violence was visible on Jan 6. With a new administration in power, some experts say that the moment is ripe for a more concerted national effort to counter online disinformation, particularly its pernicious effects on women. The Biden administration has committed to creating a National Task Force on Online Harassment and Abusewhich would study the link between online abuse and violence against women.
And last Fake teen nudes, American female lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Tammy Baldwin, along with current and former legislators from around the world, wrote a letter to Facebook urging the site to take action to protect female politicians from online attacks, including by taking down posts threatening violence and removing manipulated images or videos of female public figures.
But no policy solution can fully for the damage already wrought by online attacks on high-profile women. Di Meco recalled the toll that online abuse took on her own mental health. She wondered whether to delete them or bring them to authorities, though she knew that the perpetrators were unlikely to be held able. Di Meco said. In Her Words is available as a newsletter. Write to us at inherwords nytimes.Fake teen nudes
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