Let Your Voice Be Heard

How Women Can Get Their Point Across in Online Arenas

By: Amanda Scott, Nov 21, 2018

Odds are if you’re a woman who has ever been online, you’ve seen, heard about or been the “lucky” recipient of online threats, harassment or even cyberstalking.

In those vile, crude places we call online forums, comment sections and on occasion social media, women are constantly berated by sexually explicit threats and messages, threats of harm, and terrorized. It’s hard to be a woman in the age of the Internet!

It’s important that women are heard online; they offer a different perspective from their male counterparts and bring to light concerns that disproportionately affect more women. We have a few tips to help women, or anyone really, navigate online forums and comment sections to ensure civil discussion and debate.

1.  Assess the platform on which you’re commenting. Is it moderated? Do they have a policy for threats, hostility, hate, foul language and off-topic comments? Moderated forums and commenting sections lend themselves to civil discourse.

2. Assess your audience. Who is on this forum or blog or news site? Are they the ones you want to hear your message? Is your message relevant to the content?

3. Practice debating and discussing your points in a safe place with people you feel comfortable. The more your practice, the higher your confidence to debate in online public forums.

4.  If you are harassed online, make use of the blocking and muting features on social media. Report trolls to the site’s administrators and/or moderators.

Keep in mind that when people voice matters of public concern, they have an opportunity to listen to opposing views, evaluate and reconsider their position. Be respectful of other’s opinions if you want them to be respectful of yours.

Enjoy the conversation and debate!