Hot Docs 2018: Netizens

Female victims of online harassment fight back in Netizens. Digital mediums have made it easier for women to be harassed and law enforcement is not equipped to do anything about it. As such, various victims of online harassment have stepped up to take matters in their own hands. This includes lawyer Carrie Goldberg, who creates her own firm to help victims of online harassment, Anita Sarkeesian, who is the host of a feminist web series, and Tina, who was the victim of revenge porn.

In light of the #MeToo movement, the rights of females have entered the forefront more than every and there is a fight for change. In Netizens, director Cynthia Lowen follows a number of women, who were victims of online harassment and have now committed themselves to spreading awareness and fighting back. With many online harassment cases being shrugged off my police, who don’t truly understand the psychological impact, it is now more important than ever that women feel safe online.

Online harassment has become a growing concern over the last number of years, with the psychological impact of such harassment not truly understood by lawmakers. It is easy to think that what happens online, stays online. However, as seen from the experiences of the women in Netizens, this is not at all the case. This film does a good job of creating a conversation about this important issue and ensuring that women feel safe about speaking out about the abuse they experience online.

8 / 10 stars


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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).