We've received countless reader comments over the years. Usually, CNET readers are thoughtful and insightful. Their comments provide constructive criticism and move the conversation forward.
Usually, but not always. There is a small but vocal group of readers who regularly leave disturbing and hateful comments on our site. Sadly though predictably, these comments are often lobbed at the women of CNET.
This isn't to say that our male colleagues don't get nasty comments too. But while the feedback they get often relates to the content itself, the dynamic changes when a woman is presenting on screen. In that case, remarks about gender and sex (often intertwined with race, sexual orientation and body shaming) are included for no reason. It'sand continues to do so.
We don't want to compare our experiences to those who have seen far worse. CNET has told some of their ugly, frightening and threatening stories in our series "iHate: Intolerance Takes Over the Internet." Still, it's fair to point out that even something as uncontroversial as product reviews and consumer tech makes you a potential target of gendered aggression on the web.
We don't pretend to know why people do the things they do, nor do we offer any solutions. There are no lessons here. We're merely presenting our own experiences and truths about what it means to exist as a woman (and in some cases a minority and/or queer woman) on the internet. It's not always a great place.
Online abuse is as old as the internet, and it's only getting worse. It exacts a very real toll.
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