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Oliver: Don’t Care About Online Harassment? ‘Congratulations on Your White Penis!’

On Friday, Google announced that it was in the process of implementing measures to glean “revenge porn” results from its basic search. The move comes after repeated attempts to get the search engine to do so, and it’s a welcome result. It’s also rather fortuitous, as John Oliver‘s major topic on Last Week Tonight on Sunday was “Online Harassment.” To prove the point, he rickrolled the audience in the first 30 seconds.

All joking aside, revenge porn and the controversy surrounding #GamerGate (no, it’s not about ethics in gaming journalism) have propelled awareness of online harassment into the mainstream. Of course it’s been around since the Internet first came to be, but as Oliver points out, there’s a particular reason why the majority haven’t acknowledged until now:

I’m talking about the kind of direct threats that can make people fear for their safety. And if you’re thinking, “Well, c’mon. That doesn’t seem like that big a problem!” Then congratulations on your white penis. Because if you have one of those, you probably have a very different experience of the Internet.

Women in particular can receive a veritable cornucopia of horrifying messages online…

And like many similarly-themed broadcasts for it, Last Week Tonight dives into a small-yet-depressingly-large number of examples. And not just cases of women who have been harassed or threatened, but also the general inability of law enforcement and courts to handle these kinds of cases.

After all, there’s no federal law that currently bans revenge porn, and only 23 states have such laws on the books.

Check out the clip below, courtesy of HBO:

[Image via screengrab]

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