The Movement of #MeToo
How a hashtag got its power
About 10 years ago, after I’d graduated college but when I was still waitressing full-time, I attended an empowerment seminar. It was the kind of nebulous weekend-long event sold as helping people discover their dreams and unburden themselves from past trauma through honesty exercises and the encouragement to “be present.” But there was one moment I’ve never forgotten. The group leader, a man in his 40s, asked anyone in the room of 200 or so people who’d been sexually or physically abused to raise their hands. Six or seven hands tentatively went up. The leader instructed us to close our eyes, and asked the question again. Then he told us to open our eyes. Almost every hand in the room was raised.
For a long time, most women defined their own sexual harassment and assault in this way: as something unspoken, something private, something to be ashamed of acknowledging. Silence, although understandable, has its cost. A decade ago, I couldn’t have conceived of the fact that so many women had experienced sexual coercion or intimidation; now, I’d be surprised if I could find a single one who hadn’t. On Sunday afternoon, the actress Alyssa Milano used her Twitter account to encourage women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the words #MeToo. In the last 24 hours, a spokesperson from Twitter confirmed, the hashtag had been tweeted nearly half a million times.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
#MeToo wasn’t just mushrooming on Twitter—when I checked Facebook Monday morning, my feed was filled with friends and acquaintances acknowledging publicly that they, too, had experienced harassment or assault. Some shared their stories, some simply posted the hashtag to add their voices to the fray. And it wasn’t just women: Men also spoke up about their experiences with assault. Actors including Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, and Evan Rachel Wood joined in. The writer Alexis Benveniste used it to remind people that the messages they were seeing were only the tip of the iceberg. For every woman stating her own experiences out loud, there were likely just as many choosing not to do so.
The Most Downvoted Comment in Reddit History Is the Perfect Example of How Not to Respond to Customer Complaints
Video game company EA Sports responds to gamer complaints in an overly-corporate and disingenuous way…and its new game, Star Wars Battlefront II, pays the price.
The game is a single-person campaign that takes place after the Return of the Jedi film. The online multiplayer mode lets you battle as a soldier for either the Empire or the rebels, earning perks like better weapons or boosts along the way…
…Plus, playable characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
And therein lies the problem. Imagine you just spent $60 to buy the game–and then you find out that you have to spend tens of hours actually playing the game in order to earn the right to use the most popular characters.
Or if you don’t want to put in that kind of time, you have to spend even more money to unlock them.
To many gamers, that’s like buying a car and then finding out you need to pay extra to get a steering wheel. And since many will play the online version, that economy creates a pay-to-play dynamic where players who spend money can gain a greater advantage by gaining access to better weapons and perks more quickly.
According to estimates made by early users, players who aren’t willing to spend more money on a $60 game would need to spend 40 hours of grinding to unlock playable characters like Chewbacca and Palpatine, and 60 hours–each–to unlock Luke or Darth Vader.
But what if you’re a highly skilled player? Doesn’t matter: One person determined that in its current state, Battlefront II gives out credits based on time spent playing and not on skill. That means no matter how good you are…you would still have to grind. A lot.
So naturally gamers complained.
And here’s how EA responded on the gaming r/subreddit, the ninth most popular subreddit with over 17 million subscribers:
With well over 600,000 downvotes, that comment is now the most downvoted comment in Reddit history by a substantial margin….
Following the backlash, EA announced changes to how it incentivizes players to unlock key content within the game. In a statement posted on EA’s website, John Wasilczyk said the company will reduce the number of credits required to unlock classic saga heroes by 75 percent.
My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
The internet is a powerful tool. Use it wisely, and it can change the world. For example, it is giving a voice to women who have long been preyed upon by the powerful and ugly (inside and/or out).
But, remember that it is also a tool for those with bad intentions. These include people, on one end of the spectrum, who want you to waste time and money on whatever they are selling — this includes “free” sites and games where the site gets money from advertisers as you while away precious moments of your lives and lose your health to the sedentary lifestyle they inspire. On the other end of the spectrum lies the nastier netizens who hack laptop cameras and microphones to get nude photos or compromising information to blackmail users, who download viruses onto laptops to steal users’ bank and credit card account information, who hack power stations and damns to endanger the lives of people, etc.
How hackers can switch on your webcam and control your computer
A malicious virus known as Remote Administration Tools (RATs) can be used by hackers to switch on your webcam and control the machine without your knowledge. Andrew McMillen reports.
Bank Hackers Steal Millions via Malware
Russian Hackers Shut Down Ukraine’s Power Grid
As with all things in life, it is your responsibility to use the item wisely, and to take control of it and not let it take control of you. Think. Be purposeful in your actions. If you need to unwind for a bit and watching YouTube or playing video games helps you unwind, then, by all means, do that. But, control yourself and the tool. Limit your use of it.
Don’t let it take over your lives. Video game addiction is a problem. In addition to all the bad physical things that results from you spending hours in front of a TV (muscle weakness, poor eyesight, poor cardio-vascular health, etc.), your social skills and life would also suffer.
Gaming ‘addict’ who played Xbox 16 hours a day sought counselling after struggling to talk to real people
James Callis sought help when he struggled to connect with real people and missed out on university
Man Dies From Blood Clot After Marathon Gaming
The family of a 20-year-old British man who died as a result of a blood clot that formed after playing video games for up to 12 hours a day is speaking out about the health risks obsessive gaming can pose.
David Staniforth told The Sun that his son, Chris, spent most of his days playing the online game Halo and was accepted into a game design program at Leicester University.
“He lived for his Xbox. I never dreamed he was in any danger,” Staniforth said.
The young man died in May from a deep vein thrombosis, the coroner told The Sun. The night before he died, his father told the BBC he was probably up all night on his computer.
Those that spend more than four hours a day looking at a screen are particularly vulnerable to mental illnesses, according to the study
Children who spend large amounts of time glued to a computer risk developing mental health problems such as loneliness, depression and anxiety, government health advisers have warned.
In a hard-hitting paper, Public Health England, which advises the NHS and government, makes a clear link between the overuse of the internet and social networking sites and lower self-esteem.
Those that spend more than four hours a day looking at a screen are particularly vulnerable to mental illnesses, the report says.
Learn to use technology for good, my sons. Don’t let it use you and lead you down dark paths that don’t serve you.
As always, put away electronic devices. Limit them to no more than two hours. Go outside. Take a walk. Play in the park. Enjoy nature. Hang out with your neighbors and friends. Be real.
All my love, always,