Lena Klimova, the founder of Children-404, an online support network for LGBT teens in Russia similar to the It Gets Better campaign in the United States, has launched a new project meant to shame the Internet users who send her death threats.
On April 20, Klimova unveiled a photo album, titled “Beautiful People and What They Say to Me,” where she posted publicly available pictures of individuals in their everyday lives, overlaid with the threatening messages they’ve sent her on VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network.
The photos show the individuals in situations that are casual and intimate: a man poses with a goat, a woman hugs a bouquet of roses, and so on. The text, however, is vicious and obscene, creating a violent juxtaposition between these people’s identities as private individuals and public homophobes.
There’s a great piece up at i09 on the controversy surrounding the representation of Black Widow in Age of Ultron — I’m leaving out anything with spoilers (which means I’m leaving out most of the interesting substance), but if you’ve already seen the film, the whole piece is worth reading:
But instead of sitting down at the table of the Internet and discussing these issues like calm, collected folk, the Internet responded as only the Internet knows how: with pile-ons and death threats.
The people who criticized Whedon publicly — which may or may not have spurred Whedon leaving the Internet — are, themselves, getting death threats. It’s a snake eating its own tail.
People have been writing about the many ways that the treatment of Black Widow has sucked, but that’s all going to get lost now. Instead, everyone’s going to talk about the abuse. And about Whedon, personally, instead of the work. But that’s just playing into the Internet’s many ongoing culture wars, and it’s going to ruin everything.
So, it’s time to sit down like big boys and girls at the adult table — and talk about this, without flipping the goddamn thing over.