Homophobia and anonymity online

Kim Ficera of Afterellen.com does some research on anonymous posters and homophobia on youtube.com and in online sites like myspace.com, after reading the story of a woman who had a fake myspace page created by her disgruntled students, who falsely claimed she was gay. After delving deep into the world of anonymous webspaces and open displays of anti-gay prejudice, Ficera admits she feels pretty squicked out.

It’s very hard to find words to adequately describe how I feel at the moment. Glad to be in a loving lesbian relationship? Happy to be committed to a woman who can spell? You bet! Betrayed? Sad? Soiled? Beaten ? Yes, all of the above, but to the power of hundreds of clicks and thousands of degradations. I am dispirited, broken by a combination of meanness, vulgarity and ignorance.
I know that there are very dangerous, damaged and just plain mean people in the world. I thought them scattered, though. You know, a Jeffrey Dahmer here, an Osama bin Laden there, and tiny clusters of Ann Coulters, James Dobsons and Mel Gibsons everywhere. I never imagined that I’d find so many crude bullies and emotionally retarded cowards, all feeding off of one another on the web.

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