Kesha Joins #HackHarassment Campaign To Stop Online Bullying

Take the pledge

by Lisa Eppich

Kesha's taking a powerful new stand to end online harassment—something she's had to endure for years. Celebrities, of course, constantly have to deal with online randos telling them they have the face of Satan and that they should have never been born, but this modern-day scourge ruins the lives of real people. Over the past few years, countless teens, children, and, yes, even adults, have ended their lives over relentless online bullying. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, men and women are almost equally likely to have been harassed online, though women are much more likely to endure sexual harassment, stalking, and sustained harassment.

#HackHarassment was founded by Intel, Vox Media, and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, and their central mission is to make the internet a more inclusive and supportive place. Although they recognize that we may never be completely free of online harassment, they hope that by encouraging others to speak up when they see hurtful comments and to remember that behind every screen is a living, breathing person with thoughts and emotions that can be hurt, the damage these actions cause can be minimized or stopped altogether. 

Kesha has recently joined the campaign and released two powerful public service announcements, largely aimed at teens and young adults. One PSA is entirely silent and sees Kesha consumed by the kinds of insults and hurtful phrases we see so often that we become numb to them—think about how many times you've recently seen a comment section where someone said something like "she's such a slut" or "nobody likes you." The second PSA has Kesha speaking along with a few actual cruel online comments, highlighting the stark contrast of seeing or typing something like this anonymously online and actually hearing it out loud.

Kesha has also posted her support for #HackHarassment on her Instagram, saying, "This issue is near and dear to my heart, as I have been bullied online for many years. I know I'm not alone in that... The internet and social media can be so helpful in many ways, but one downside is that some people feel it's okay to hide behind a screen and be hateful to others. I, for one, believe no one should be subjected to harassment online." Her fans quickly posted their support of the initiative and hopefully many of them will take the #HackHarassment pledge. Speaking of which, you should too—it just takes a second and while it's largely symbolic, it's a good reminder for everyone that when an online commenter raises your hackles (and yes, we've all been there), instead of responding in kind, you can stand up to their vitriol and help support the people they're hurting.

Check out Kesha's PSAs and her Instagram statement below, and find out more about #HackHarassment here.