Exploring Online Vocabulary and Issues

Unfortunately, on Thursday I was unable to make it to class as I was doing something with my family. Thus, I used this blog to catch up and research the topics.


Cyber-vigilantism was a topic I had heard about before but did not realize that it is typically not regulated by the law. Nor did I know it was used to impede or punish cybercrime, even if the vigilante is not the victim. I found this out from the website Cyber Wire.  I also looked at an article from Mount Royal University. This article states that vigilantism has been around since ancient times, but the internet allows millions of people to engage in a single act of vigilantism. It also stated that the reason for cyber vigilantism occurring can vary from serious issues, such as pedophilia, to simpler things. They also state that there is a fine line between vigilantism and harassment. This description brought a recent online controversy to my mind, as it started as something small and bordered on harassment. The controversy was between YouTubers SSSniperWolf and jacksfilms, which I heard about from the podcast Do We Know Them?

This controversy began because SSSniperWolf became a reaction channel that did and still does not give credit to the original videos that she is reacting to and reuses scenes multiple times in her videos to ensure she gets ads.

Screenshot of SSSniperWolf’s Channel

Due to this, jacksfilms decided to create a reaction channel, JJJacksfilms, in which he watched SSSniperWolf’s videos with a bingo card of things she does consistently in her videos. This controversy became dangerous when SSSniperWolf flew to the city jacksfilms lived in and started adding posts to her Instagram story where she told him to come outside and showed his house and address. I believe at the time, his wife was home as well, which made jacksfilms even more worried. 

The reason this came to mind is that jacksfilms thought he was helping these smaller creators by doing SSSniperwolf Bingo, when, in reality, he was straddling the line of vigilantism and harassment. It also started as a smaller issue, that became large and illegal when SSSniperWolf doxxed jacksfilms.

Cyber Violence and Shaming

When I started looking into cyber violence and shaming, my mind immediately went to a class I had in May. I took WGST (Women and Gender Studies) 100 this May, and one of the topics we had was online hate directed at women. For this topic, we watched a documentary called Backlash which was about how women can be targeted online. It focuses on women in power and those who are outspoken. It also demonstrates that the law has not caught up with the internet, as many of the women received direct threats online and, in most cases, the police were unable to do anything. This documentary also displayed how these issues can escalate to real-life dangers and threats. I highly recommend this documentary if you are curious about how serious these issues can become. 

Digital Footprints

Before researching digital footprints, I thought it was just to do with the things I post online. Upon looking at Kaspersky, I was shocked to find out that my digital footprint includes the websites I go to, emails I send, online shopping and any other information I put online. I was also scared to find out that apps collect data without us knowing. 

When it comes to having some of our digital footprint forgotten, I am on the fence about it. I agree that we have a right for some of the things we post to be forgotten, however, I think things like hate speech, bullying, harassment, and other negative things that are said online maybe shouldn’t be. Or the people who say them should have to prove somehow that they have changed. I think this as there are many YouTubers, such as Shane Dawson, James Charles,  and Colleen Ballinger, that have been in multiple, serious controversies and are still able to post on YouTube to their audience, many of whom are children, despite their controversies involving inappropriate interactions with minors.  

These topics are actually why I had stopped posting on social media regularly. I always stress about my words and photos being taken out of context, or affecting my ability to get a job. I have also dealt with online bullying and figured not posting was the best way to avoid it. However, I feel more confident in my knowledge of the online world and have begun becoming more active on social media.

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