The plight of women in digital spaces is a focal point of 2014. Specifically, the world of YouTube has been front and center in the discussion of women’s safety online. While a flurry of sexual assault and abuse cases perpetrated by men in the YouTube community made headlines, there’s also constant and casual attacks on women daily on the part of the platform that fosters the otherwise vibrant community—the comments section.
In a new BuzzFeed video, female content creators speak up about the abuse they’ve received in the comments of their videos, even going as far as reading out loud some of the worst offenders.
The common thread between the women is wishing that commenters would focus on the content in their videos—not the fact that they’re a woman, or their appearance. The women also say that they’re so used to getting these sorts of comments on their videos that they’ve sometimes become desensitized to the hurt.
“It’s so annoying that I shouldn’t have to be used to this, but I am,” says YouTuber Tessa Netting in the video.
The clip concludes with simply a suggestion that, “if you’re going to write a YouTube comment just to objectify someone or make them feel uncomfortable, don’t.” And while it will take more than just talking about attacks and abuse to generate change, it’s a positive first step.
Screengrab via BuzzFeedYellow/YouTube