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Join Us to Hack Harassment

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Today, Intel, Vox Media, Re/code and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation came together and asked for help.  We invited the technology industry and those who care about inclusion and fighting online harassment to join us in a new, collaborative, and industry-wide initiative:  Hack Harassment.

Hack Harassment is first and foremost an invitation.  It’s an invitation to co-create a process and a set of solutions to help reduce online harassment and promote safer, more inclusive online experiences for all.

Intel is a global leader in designing and building the essential technologies that power our smart and connected world.  Vox Media and Re/code are leaders in how the world receives media and editorial content about our smart and connected world.  Born This Way Foundation is a leader in supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. Together, we form a strong basis on which the rest of the technology industry and those who care about reducing online harassment can come together.

It takes a certain kind of courageous humility to say that you need and want help.  After all, doing so says that you’re not able to do something on your own.  That’s the reality facing our technology industry when it comes to online harassment.  No single technology company can alone affect the change needed to reduce online harassment.  We need to create this change together.

Online harassment is pervasive and can be vicious. It is widespread, has real-life repercussions, and is underreported.  The severity and viciousness of some forms of online harassment call for urgent collective action.

According to a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of internet users have personally experienced online harassment, and 73 percent have witnessed it occur to others. One in four internet users have seen someone physically threatened online, while roughly one in five have witnessed someone being sexually harassed or stalked.

Let’s also be clear about how online harassment impacts all of us.

  • Fully, 70 percent of 18-24 year-old female and males have personally experienced some form of online harassment.

  • More than half of African-American and Hispanic Internet users say that they have experienced online harassment, compared to a third of white Internet users.

  • Women, particularly young women ages 18-24, are more likely than their male

counterparts, to experience stalking (26 percent vs. 7 percent) and sexual harassment (25 percent vs. 13 percent).

As an industry, we care about this issue.  Intel recently conducted a December 2015 survey of technology professionals.

  • 75 percent of tech professionals are concerned about online harassment.

  • Eight in ten of tech professionals believe there is real-life risk of emotional impact for the person being harassed.

  • Nearly two out of three tech professionals believe that online harassment has the potential to lead to self-harm.

We are optimistic about creating positive change. Fully 69 percent of tech professionals believe that technology can change the world for the better, and 78 percent believe that the tech industry’s (as well as online communities’) best days are ahead of it. Optimism is even greater among tech professionals who are the most concerned about harassment.

We believe that online harassment is hackable. The technology industry is capable of powerful innovation. Together, we can utilize technology to develop collaborative, innovative, and broad-scale deterrents and solutions. More than 8 in 10 tech professionals agree that the tech industry needs to do more to prevent online harassment.  More than 80 percent of tech professionals agree taking actions to prevent online harassment could be effective.  In terms of possible deterrents and solutions, 75 percent of technology professionals believe a universal code of online conduct would help curb harassment, 51 percent believe that blocking IP addresses of known harassers would be very effective, and 47 percent believe building more tools into sites to allow users to block or report content would be effective.

Now is the time to coordinate our response. Hack Harassment is a coalition of the determined. It’s a cooperative, collaborative campaign to build on work already being done and to do more -- together.

  • Our first step begins with an invitation to join us for a series of online and in-person hackathons in 2016.

  • These hackathons will bring together participants from the technology industry, media, non-profits, academia and others who care about this issue to increase accountability, advance technology solutions, and affect positive change.

  • Then, at the Code Conference May 31-June 2, 2016, Intel, Vox Media, Re/Code and Born This Way, together with the partners who join us, will share early findings, progress and recommendations.

For Intel, Hack Harassment goes hand-in-hand with our overall Diversity in Technology initiative to support, enhance and encourage more diversity and inclusion at Intel, and in the technology industry.

We remain laser-focused on achieving Intel’s goal to achieve full representation of women and under-represented minorities by 2020, and will share our progress and learnings next month with the release of our 2016 Annual Diversity & Inclusion Report.

In announcing Hack Harassment, Intel recognizes that behind every phone, tablet, PC, game console, and connected device is a real person – a real person with real feelings, and real needs for safety and inclusion.

We have the ability, and the responsibility, as a technology industry to hack online harassment. And we have to do it together.

We hope you’ll join us in this effort to Hack Harassment.  For more information, please visit www.hackharassment.com.

For more details:
Intel Newsroom Press Release
About the Author
Danielle Brown is Intel’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. She is responsible for leading Intel’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy and progress toward Intel’s 2020 goal of reaching full representation in its workforce. In addition, Danielle serves as the Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant for Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel Corporation.