November 19, 2021 | The Hill

Violent video against U.S. representative AOC stirs up debate around online misogyny

The U.S. House of Representatives voted this week to censure Republican Paul Gosar, stripping him of his two committee assignments, after posting an animated video killing Democratic colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword. The violent video was only taken down by Gosar himself two days after facing backlash, calling once again into question online misogyny and why social media doesn’t directly do more to protect women, specifically female politicians, from these kinds of publications.

Our Chloe Colliver told the Hill that she wasn’t surprised at the handling by the platforms: “Sadly, I was not very surprised that a number of the companies didn’t take any significant action on that piece of content. […] Women have tended to be near the bottom of the list on companies’ policy enforcement resources and decision making for a long time, even when they’re in the public light.” 

The Hill also referenced our report “Public Figures, Public Rage: Candidate abuse on social media” where we present our findings that female congressional candidates are more likely than men to receive abusive content on mainstream social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter).

Chloe Colliver is the Head of Digital Policy and Strategy at ISD. You can find a range of her work in our publications section.