While anonymously perpetrated online abuse is common, in many cases, the perpetrator is someone the victim knows, and often, the harassment is a tactic of ongoing abuse. Perpetrators often pose serious dangers to victims in “real” life, a fact often minimized by a stranger-danger media narrative.
These are everyday people, engaging in everyday harassment to build social capital. And they don’t limit themselves to one part of the internet or another.
Online violences are diverse but they have in common harm and constraint. They seek to limit the kinds of lives that women and feminists can live on- and offline. They punish those who push against that constraint with threats of financial and identity theft and with promises of physical violence.