- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (16 Sept. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674368290
- ISBN-13: 978-0674368293
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hate Crimes in Cyberspace Hardcover – 16 Sep 2014
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It is the first systematic account of the problem, and how to counter it. Citron proposes practical and lawful ways in which to punish online harassment and also demonstrates the emotional, professional and financial damage incurred by victims. --Katherine Quarmby - Newsweek
Hate Crimes in Cyberspace s main strength lies in its sustained and detailed exploration of the bizarrely convoluted, sustained and extremely hurtful nature of online abuse of individuals... She makes her case successfully for changing social perceptions and creating a far more effective legal response, particularly by utilising civil rights law. --Times Higher Education
About the Author
Danielle Keats Citron is Lois K. Macht Research Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
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I'm not going to re-iterate the terrible tales here, but for people that don't think the problems are serious, suffice it to say that people have died because of hate crimes on the net. Online bullying, work place harassment, defacement, DDoSsing and spreading of false information, including impersonation, and theft and publication of private identifying information are part of the problem - the threats sometimes move from the virtual to the real world, and when law enforcement fails to act, there can be very bad consequences.
The author argues that none of this is the least bit acceptable, nor do we need to accept it any more than nowadays we would accept sexual harassment in the workplace, or racial or religious abuse, or libel or slander in public or indeed private places. Education (at schools, in wider society, and of law enforcement about what laws actually apply now, and how to use cyberspace to get evidence) is crucial. In some cases, new legislation is needed, and perhaps, the right to bring cases anonymously (this is a subtle argument and worth reading carefully). Most importantly, the book makes it clear that there is absolutely no threat to the precious Free Speech that many falsely use to defend their abusive actions. There are clear exemptions for True Threats, Crime-Facilitating Speech, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and plain old fashioned lies. Increasingly, we see new laws controlling non-consensual disclosure of nude images ("revenge porn"). Indeed, much of the abuse online is actually suppressing other free speech, much as continual interruption or shouting over someone in a discussion is not often a valid means of contribution.
The book is a very useful guide and should be read by educators, law enforcement officers and online service providers as a matter of urgency.
I'd argue personally that the laissez-faire attitude taken by some to these hate crimes amounts to incitement - and that while many of the sad individuals who carry out the online activities do not then extend their threats to the real world, acceptance of this form of online behaviour will act as a signal to more dangerous real world behaviours. As Whitney Phillips argues in the also excellent "This is why we can't have nice things", to some extent the bad online behaviour by individuals is itself influenced by the poisonous style of discourse in some mass media itself. We need to fix this from the grass roots up, and from the top down at the same time. This book is a great contribution to that process.
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