How to Conquer Internet Trolls During Your Campaign, According to Brianna Wu

The woman at the center of the Gamergate scandal shares how she overcame harassment from strangers.

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Let's face it: being a woman in the public eye means dealing with haters. But don’t let that scare you away! Just take it from Brianna Wu, a video-game developer who found herself at the center of Gamergate (a harassment-fueled digital campaign against women in the video-game industry)—and a 2018 candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts’ 8th District.

“I have tried everything you could possibly do! I have tried telling them to go f*ck themselves, ignoring them, reasoning with them—the only thing that doesn’t do anything destructive is to block them. Women are socialized to put up with a lot of bullshit. And there are a lot of men who feel entitled to our time and attention, and when they feel angry at us, they feel entitled to make us feel that. I hate the phrase ‘Don’t feed the trolls,’ because I think it’s tilted toward a very male understanding of the Internet, but there is no value in engaging with the trolls. Ground yourself psychologically. For me, I work out a lot. I’m also very cognizant about putting down Twitter and spending time with my family. Find things that let you touch base with your humanity.”

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This article is part of our "Women Running for Office" series, which originally appeared in Marie Claire's November 2017 issue, on newsstands October 17. To view the full package, click here.

Kayla Webley Adler is the Deputy Editor of ELLE magazine. She edits cover stories, profiles, and narrative features on politics, culture, crime, and social trends. Previously, she worked as the Features Director at Marie Claire magazine and as a Staff Writer at TIME magazine.