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The internet is great, but we are all more than aware that it can be really grim.
Trolls and unsavoury forums are rife in certain corners of the web.
One thing is certain - abuse on the internet is also bleak, especially if you're a woman.
From a male standpoint it's hard to understand just how much vitriol and grossness is aimed at women online.
In order to demonstrate it, sexual violence researcher and writer Jessica Eaton, conducted an experiment with her husband.
Just did social experiment with my husband to teach him what being a female online is like (THREAD) pls RT — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
They started out by finding a random non-sexual chat room and registered him as an 18-year-old boy.
1. I got him to enter a generic non sexual forum as a 18 yo male with boring chat name and guess what? NOTHING HAPPENED — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
Then they changed the account to read that he was an 18-year-old girl and that's where the shocking reality of the internet was unleashed.
6. He got hundreds of messages in a few minutes and couldn't keep up — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
This quickly opened his eyes to the vastness of sexual harassment online.
8. I said to him - 'that's what you get for being female online' and he just stared as hundreds more messages poured in — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
Unbelievably some of the men sending the messages admitted that they had important jobs.
9. One guy said he was a teacher and tried to get him to meet him — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
It proved to be a valuable lesson for Jessica's husband.
11. My husband actually said to me 'oh my god babe there's so many dicks' and he *dreaded* opening the next msg or photo — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
Her thread soon went viral and it inspired other people to share some of the unwanted sexual messages they have received online.
@Jessicae13Eaton I got a dick pic on Words With Friends. I went hard on tearing him up for it & he called me a bull… https://t.co/LWhXh1DupC — AlisonGymble82 (@AlisonGymble82)
@Jessicae13Eaton @CritHealthPsych I can believe this. I get hits on LinkedIn starting off.."I know that this is no… https://t.co/SdrYDoZgie — Ronelle Carolissen (@Ronelle Carolissen)
@miltsdad @Jessicae13Eaton Hi! I am French and this whole thread is the story of 14-y old me way back when. And all FR females nowadays. — Kane Odeur 🦚 (@Kane Odeur 🦚)
When someone asked how they could conduct the experiment themselves she offered this advice.
@BlinkzPlayDirty I've done this for years so I know it will work for you but I've never shown my husband and made him do it lol — Dr. Jessica Taylor (@Dr. Jessica Taylor)
Others then began thanking Jessica for sharing her experiment and expose the magnitude of online harassment towards women.
@Jessicae13Eaton Thank u. Not just online, this is what being female in life is like, 2! wish blocking all the unwa… https://t.co/DmRezY0BQe — Nadja (@Nadja)
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