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Female Gamer Responds to Trolls Where it Hurts: Their MOMS

What happens online doesn't always stay online

For all of its strong suits, social media can really suck sometimes. Cowards and bullies freely hurl vitriol online without fear of a rebuke IRL. A game reviewer who was trolled found a novel way of dealing with threats: she went straight to the top, and got in touch with trolls parents.

Here's Another Way To Deal With Hurtful Comments

When it occurred to Alanah Pearce that those vile online messages may not be stem from adults but boys in the 10-15 age bracket, the 21-year-old Australian took matters into her own hands. She got in touch with moms via Facebook, urging them to discuss "a concerning message" with their sons.

“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," said Pearce. "And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable."

Though only one parent out of the four contacted replied, Pearce was satisfied that her point got across loud and clear. The mother's response—"Omg, little s**t. IM SO SORRY. YES I WILL TALK TO HIM!"—was retweeted 36,000 times.

And she has more than delivered on her promise. Not only did her son write Pearce a letter of apology, the mom plans to visit schools to talk about online harassment and bullying.
How To Stop Your Kid From Being An Online Asshat

Misogyny is rampant online, with one in four women between 18 and 24 being stalked or sexually harassed, according to a recent study. The male-dominated gaming industry is a particularly hostile place for women. And though sites like Twitter provide the option to report abuse, it is very difficult to bring about legal action against users, especially if they happen to be minors. And they know it.

"’s not okay to be sexist to women, even if they’re on the Internet,” said Pearce. “[Women] are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that.”

Let this be a cautionary tale to kids (and parents) to gauge the brevity of their words. Even if "you didn't really mean it" if you SAY it, there are consequences that align with that action, and sometimes the fallout will come from the harshest of all sources: Your MOTHER.