It's a story as old as, well, the Internet. A woman is a video game journalist. She receives rape and death threats. The end. But in a delightful new take on the old story, said video game journalist has reached out to the mothers of her harassers, just to let them know what their sons are up to.
Alanah Pearce reviews video games for Australian radio stations and television. She also has her own YouTube channel. She has received a number of threats on Twitter and Facebook simply because (this is a well-informed assumption) she's a woman, though Gamergate probably has something to do with it, so she took matters into her own hands, telling the Guardian:
"A while ago, I realised that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren't adult males…It turns out that mostly they're young boys and the problem is they don't know any better, so responding to them rationally didn't resolve the situation. And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable."
Fair enough. Pearce was easily able to find the families of her harassers and got in touch with their mothers. She has reached out to four mothers, sending them screenshots of their son's handiwork. So far, one of the mothers has responded:
"Hi Anna, I don't know you, but I was wondering if [blanked-out] is your son?"
"Yes he is. Why?"
"I have never met him before, but he sent me a concerning message to my public Facebook page today that I was wondering if you might be interested in discussing with him." *screengrab*
"Omg, little sh*t. I'M SO SORRY. YES I WILL TALK TO HIM!"
Beautiful. Pearce was obviously pretty pleased with the woman's response to her son's threats, but for her, it was more about rehumanizing the internet a bit:
"It was just a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it's not okay to be sexist to women, even if they're on the internet," she says, "that they are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that."
What a hero.
Image via YouTube.