John Oliver Takes Down Internet Trolls in an Awesome, Awesome Way

If you don't think it's a problem, "congratulations on your white penis."

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If you're a woman, especially one with an opinion, you've likely been subjected to harassment online. Sometimes the threats go far enough to make you feel physically unsafe. And even though women around the world have openly talked about it for years, many police officers and lawmakers seem to shrug it off. On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tackled the very-serious issue, complete with a few Rick Rolls to lighten it up a bit, because things get dark.

Oliver highlighted testimony from women like Anita Sarkeesian (opens in new tab)Brianna Wu (opens in new tab), and Amanda Hess (opens in new tab), who have been affected by these direct and dangerous threats to the point of involving police. "It can potentially affect any woman who makes the mistake of having a thought in her mind, and then vocalizing it online," Oliver said. "If you thinking, 'Well, come on, that doesn't seem like that big a problem,' well, congratulations on your white penis."

Police are often ill-equipped to handle threats like this, and it's even worse when it comes to revenge porn. Oliver slammed the "victim blamey" sentiment that the women who share these photos are at fault. "Here's a fun game: Insert any other crime into those same sentences," he said. "'Listen guys, if you don't want to get burgled, don't live in a house!'" But there does seem to be a little hope; Twitter and Reddit banned revenge porn, and Google just announced (opens in new tab) it would remove revenge porn from search results upon request.

The segment ended with a spot-on parody of those '90s AOL commercials featuring Rob Huebel and Colin Hanks. "Here's a random woman from Minneapolis who just said how she felt about something. Want me to make her fear for her life?" It's funny because it's so depressingly true.

Megan Friedman
Editor

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.