Hate speech online: sex workers “unmasked” on social networks
A bombshell report has revealed how online trolls target and ‘kill’ sex workers on social media, with one victim comparing it to a hate crime.
A Queensland parliamentary inquiry into online libel has found that sex workers are being “exposed” online.
A woman describes her incident to NCA NewsWire as a targeted hate crime.
“He used my ad to try to blackmail me into sending him nude pictures,” she said.
“When I refused, he splashed my ads. He knew that because I was a sex worker, I would be afraid that people would know my identity and that I would be targeted.
“All you have to do is look at the comments section of an article about sex work and you’ll see what’s happening to us in online spaces – you can’t escape it no matter what platform you choose to use”
Respect Inc’s state coordinator, Elena Jeffreys, told NCA NewsWire that sex workers were “very disappointed” with the recommendations included in the state legislature’s Legal Affairs and Security Committee report released on Monday. .
“The review did not result in any change to the defamation attribute for us protesting,” she said.
“Our submission brought together experiences of high levels of defamation and hate crimes committed unchecked against sex workers in Queensland – they have been ignored”
In other workplaces, sex workers in Queensland have been reported to their colleagues when employers learned of their current or past work in the sex industry.
Respect Inc told NCA NewsWire that individuals target sex workers online, identifying their addresses and sharing the workers’ personal details with family and friends.
“Sex workers are underprotected and unreported.” said Ms. Jeffreys.
“Hate speech towards sex workers is concerning.”
Radical feminist Facebook groups have threatened sex workers for their choice of work, referring to their children and the fact that they know where the person lives.
Character assassination spills over into other minority groups in Queensland, such as religion-based online attacks.
“Give me a gun and I’ll sort out the Muslims,” one man posted on Facebook.
“The worst thing is that it’s made by (usually) men who have their full names, including pictures of their wives and children, which shows how accepted comments are online and how they know there will be no consequences,” the inquest said.
Multicultural Australia has brought to light another recent incident where a video of a youngster being racially harassed in a school toilet was uploaded to TikTok.
The Jewish Board of Deputies reported that 30% of Jews in Queensland had experienced online hate.
Online hate speech has been called by the committee a “national and global problem”.
For many, the cost of defamation can include loss of housing, loss of income, alienation from family and community, and poor mental health – impacts that defamation protections are designed to prevent.