Geek Feminism Wiki

Abuse by proxy is the use, by abusers and harassers, of third parties to carry out harassment. Sam Vaknin described abuse by proxy as follows:

If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, mates, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbours, the media, teachers – in short, third parties – to do his bidding. He uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer, retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate his target. He controls these unaware instruments exactly as he plans to control his ultimate prey. He employs the same mechanisms and devices. And he dumps his props unceremoniously when the job is done.

In a June 2014 blog post, Betsy Haibel detailed the ways in which abusers and harassers use sites like Reddit and 4chan to recruit third parties to engage in abuse by proxy:

When people from privileged groups, or who hold positions of power, attack someone with less privilege or power, harassment happens. (While many attackers here are white straight cis men, that’s not a requirement - for example, white women have a long history of attacking women of color in this manner.) In these cases, the emotional violence of the initial attack is compounded by the inevitable wave of trolling which follows it.

Typically, the harassment being organized is online harassment, but it's not un-heard of for online harassment campaigns to escalate to doxxing, then intimidating behavior in physical space.


Further reading[]

  • Jetta Rae DoubleCakes for Ravishly, "GamerGate's Economy Of Harassment And Violence": 'This is how Ted Nugent gets away with “wishing aloud” for the murder of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. He does his little turn on the catwalk and says to his audience “wouldn’t this just be the best thing ever,” knowing he doesn’t have to actually do the legwork himself. His fans share his political outlook but not his status—but hey, if I killed Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, then Ted Nugent would maybe like and respect me, and I could be closer to that star, even if I have to spend the rest of my life in a federal penitentiary.'