Private letter to Team CLGRED & Team SECRET
Heading into AnyKey Invitational at IEM in Oakland, CA
Dear badass women of Team CLGRED + Team SECRET:
as female gaming pros, you must know the pain of online harassment / abuse. we can only imagine what you may've had to endure + the resilience, strength, and community it took. we're sending you our support and appreciation for paving the way.
our cause: while online harassment has been going on for a while, things are only getting worse. just a few days ago, it was discovered that a 18 y.o. UK teenager’s suicide was related to a fake Facebook girlfriend telling him to kill himself and sending threatening msgs. And given the election coverage and results here in the US, online hate and threats of violence have already started to bleed into physical spaces - in elevators, streets, workplaces. Now more than ever, individuals are being targeted online with real life consequences. we’re worried that the violence and hate ppl spew online will only continue to translate to IRL, and we want to help and continue our work.
we started Online SOS earlier this year - a non-partisan charity dedicated to helping individuals recover from online harassment / abuse. beyond cyberbullying, we help with stalking, surveillance, mob harassment, threats of violence, doxing, swatting, hacking, nonconsenusal porn, among other forms. we give individuals free, professional services for online harassment on any platform, any industry, any demographic - with a focus on mental health services.
we’ve been invited to gaymerX east and twitchCON (inclusivity city, organized by anykey) this year to support the gaming / streaming community. and over the past months, we've provided mental health + tech resources to several female gamers / streamers who asked for help!
there are three amazing charities to choose from, but we just want you to know that the $10k donation from your winnings at IEM would make a HUGE difference to us as a new nonprofit. we’ve started our nonprofit with our own personal savings to give 18-40yo women free mental health, legal, and tech help as they recover from severe incidents of online targeting and abuse. and while we’ve been nailing down on big partnerships (we are a trusted safety partner of Twitter), we’re still working on fundraising.
our personal story: we started this because 5-7 years ago, both sam and i had terrifying experiences with stalking and threats of violence. for me (liz), i was also extorted, had to leave my home at one point, and went to work everyday in fear for several weeks at a time. but the cycle has continued. many still don’t take online harassment seriously, and incidents often get mishandled, causing more harm to individuals. we want to change that and create the resources we wish we had.
for ya'll: if you ever want to share your story or some tips on what was helpful for you- confidentially or publicly, we’re all ears. and if you, your friend, or anyone in your community that needs help from online harassment, plz don’t hesitate to reach out to us: info@onlineSOSnetwork.org.
Tl;dr: the donation would make a huge difference to us + the individuals we support as they recover from online harassment. Hope you perform your damn best, and keep being badass.
in support and solidarity,
liz lee and sam silverberg
p.s. we know you guys are on another level as pros, but if you have any interest / thoughts in supporting our work via charity streams, donations, awareness, etc., happy to provide more info, so plz let us know! <3