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Online hate that targets women is a threat to democracy itself

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Women are now being subjected not just to insults and demeaning comments but to vicious lies, doctored images and sexual and violent intimidation.

Elon Musk isn’t responsible for how unappealing public life has become for even ambitious women. But the billionaire’s ascension to Twitter’s c-suite and his reinstatement of some infamously banned bad actors is turbo-charging abuse on the platform, making the challenge even harder.

Consider that in the 2017 municipal elections in Alberta, women candidates were four times more likely than men to describe the campaign as “negative” and report that the criticism they received was personal. They weren’t being dissed for their policies or positions, but for their race or religion, their parenting or appearance.

Almost half said they “regularly” received misogynistic or discriminatory attacks.


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