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5 Times John Oliver's Spoof of Online Harassment Absolutely Nails It

5 Times John Oliver's Spoof of Online Harassment Absolutely Nails It

5 Times John Oliver's Spoof of Online Harassment Absolutely Nails It

The Last Week Tonight host highlights the horrors in a spoof old-school AOL ad

Remember when the internet was brand new? When a troll just meant a fairytale creature that sat under a bridge? Some of the unpleasant things which have become "acceptable" on the web now would have sounded ridiculous back then. And rightly so. John Oliver artfully expresses this through the medium of a fake 20-year-old America Online advertisement.

1. If You Did It in Real Life, You'd Definitely Get Locked Up

"I'm not going to be able to make the game tonight. I have to go out into the street and scream at women I don't even know. And then after that I've got to handwrite letters to all the Golden Girls telling them I'm going to **** down their throats. And then after that I've got to bring these naked photos of my ex-wife to her office and show them to everyone she works with, because she's such a bitch."

How can it sound SO extreme in meatspace and yet be "normalized" behavior online?


2. It's Not Always Someone Who Knows You

"We can do all that before we leave... It's easy. See, here's a random woman from Minneapolis who just said how she felt about something. You want me to make her fear for her life? Done!"

Because oftentimes it really is just a case of gratuitously malicious baiting from a stranger.


3. Ruining Lives at the Touch of a Button

"With the internet, the only limit to how miserable you can make someone's life is how angry you are and how fast you can type."

And they don't have to have the faintest clue who you are.


4. How Revenge Porn Falls Through The Cracks

"There's no federal law explicitly against this!"

Sadly, laws surrounding"revenge porn" and other online abuse can be hazy at best and vary from state to state.


5. Rule 404: If Someone's Fantasized About It, It's Online

"The internet - a dark carnival of mankind's most wretched impulses."

Yeah. It really doesn't bring out the best in everyone, does it?


You can watch the video and Oliver's commentary here:


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Charlotte Dingle