The internet, by no means, is a ‘safe place’ anymore. Reports of security breaches, hacking, cyberbullying besiege the place most netizens call home.
This, however, wasn’t the case during the early days of the World Wide Web. Fast forward to 2020, the very definition of ‘Internet’ has changed to a certain degree. At its core, it promises connectivity, but what tags along with that promise is a risk, that sometimes could even be life-threatening.
Sweet Anita – Female Twitch Streamer has a stalker who has stepped out of the virtual world
Stalking, both online and offline, is an offence that no individual deserves to go through. In the case of a variety streamer ‘Anita’, an unidentified stalker has been continuously issuing death threats to the streamer.
The 29-year-old streamer boasts over 920,000 followers on Twitch and thousands more on other social media platforms. Shortly after the news of her stalker went viral, Anita’s followers advised her to keep indoors while also suggesting she gets hold of a gun to protect herself.
The anonymous stalker, who is yet to be identified, left unnerving messages on her live stream that are enough to shake the ground beneath one’s feet.
Warning: Explicit content
Concerned followers all around the word left suggestions on what Anita could do until police intervened. In a series of tweets later, the streamer explained how her options are limited, and all she could do was wait.
It goes without saying that Anita’s case is a matter of life or death. However, the delayed response from authorities, coupled with Twitch Staff’s incompetency on the matter made people question why the issue has not been dealt with quickly.
The ubiquity of gender-based consumer harassment
In 2016, a study by Loyola University Chicago, that focussed on ‘navigating’ a subculture of gender identity suggested that female gamers (variety streamers included) have been subjected to systematical marginalization based on gender alone.
The negative experiences, similar to the likes of Sweet Anita, instill a sense of fear and chaos in budding female streamers among the community. This could end up demotivating many who look forward to making a career out of it.
The study also points how stereotypes towards female streamers enable consumer harassment, wherein streamers are often disrespected and assumed to be an ‘easy’ targets by the viewers.