For years, Amber Heard – Mera in Aquaman, a Human Rights Champion for the United Nations, humanitarian, and Women’s Rights Ambassador to the ACLU – has been harassed, cyber abused, threatened, and faced hate online for speaking out against abuse in society.
The 911 calls made for her, audios, recordings, and videos collected have been framed on the internet without any consideration of her life or the millions of other women worldwide who have no way to collect evidence. It’s preventing awareness and change to save lives.
Heard may be Mera in Aquaman, but she is not bulletproof to the escalating repetitive, digitalized, and long-term harms against her.
What people don’t know is that Amber data-collected the abuse against her with technology before 911 systems could collect real-time data from applications. 911 cannot even locate with data to know where a caller is or use text information. She did this before the European Innovation Council and Swedish government supported creating a cell phone application that was founded during COVID-19 to streamline services, reporting, and data-collecting for domestic abuse victims.
Amber Heard took photos, texts, recordings, and evidence using her cell phone before it was culturally accepted.
Heard, who tried to lead and speak against abuse, such as supporting a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights and going to the United Nations General Assembly just months before a defamation lawsuit was filed, has been retaliated against and silenced on the internet.
Domestic violence is the most common incident experienced by 911 dispatchers in America, yet, no one talks about this or tries to do anything about it. There are up to 900,000 to 3 million reports of domestic violence a year in the USA. Then retaliation, such as seen against Amber Heard, makes people too afraid to try to create change or to even speak about change.
When people, tabloids, or agendas on the internet attack Amber, they are preventing the public from knowing that while you can see a food delivery or ridesharing services responding on a map, you cannot see first responders coming or when they’ve arrived. You cannot get language translations for 911 or an accurate location from data to public safety services. There’s no way to tell social media platforms to pull up data proactively to help crime victims or disaster victims.
By criticizing her metadata and harassing the organizations that provided her opportunities, they’re preventing progress.
When witnesses, reporters, businesses, and nonprofits supporting her are attacked online with 24/7 daily online harassment in attempts to remove any of her economic or relational support, and to even make people afraid of testifying, it’s enabling the culture of abuse preventing change that Amber Heard first wrote about in the Washington Post in December 2018.
There’s a lawyer for her ex that writes threateningly online with cryptic words such as “in Memorium” and a dark profile photo with no oversight telling him to stop his actions. There are double standards of no mercy towards Amber, who wanted positive change and to do humanitarian work.
Most women will never make backups of their texts, or store years of photos and recordings, not until culture has changed.
Society is not only not victim-centered to tell women to protect themselves; it isn’t proactive to tell us to help victims.
The abuse against Amber includes choking her repeatedly, a concussion, over a dozen physical experiences of violence, pushing, control of travel, isolation, losing weight and physical health while with her ex-husband, losing confidence, and intimidation. It’s reported that staff knew she was injured, including kicked on a private plane and seen on a private island being physically harmed after a fight.
In deposition videos in 2016, she said that she screamed for help and that no one interfered.
Two audios were framed on the internet in February 2020 leaving out her saying she did fear for her life, that she was kicked repeatedly, that bodyguards said she would be killed off the record, and being told that there were three physical fights since she hadn’t worked on yelling.
It’s rationalizing harming women with escalations to a crime scene.
Multiple YouTube accounts and a hateful petition against her crowdfund donations and advertising dollars with objectifying comments based on inciting the already existing, and increasing for the past ten years, hate against women, against LGBT equality, and especially agendas against female public figures and their leadership. It’s Hate for Profit – which created a boycott campaign this year against social media platforms doing nothing to stop it, yet the United States movement of 1,100 businesses, nonprofits, and civil rights groups did not mention hate against women or LGBT.
Organizations such as HateLab, MoonshotCVE, StopHateUK, Ditch the Label, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), United Nations Women, Association for Progressive Communications, Anti-Defamation League, and Plan International have studies about extremism, hate, discrimination, and hostility increasing on the internet. Tens of thousands of victims are in these studies with no actions done by power-holders to do prevention.
The SPLC marked in 2012 that Men’s Rights Reddit was a hate group and that American female public figures were especially targeted. The group still exists and boosted the hateful petition against Amber Heard. Terms online such as ‘simp’ are used to harass supporters of Amber and other men trying to help her which is connected to these anti-women ideologies. “Fathers for Justice” posted a billboard outside her UK trial while people harassed her, proving once again that extremism from the internet will filter into in-person threats.
The social media platforms ignore violence against women online and prevent reporting harassment to help others. Requiring victims to report themselves is too overwhelming and doesn’t protect people, not only counting the biased content review training. Only 17% of leadership at social tech companies may be women, and coding is not being used to help them or victims. AI for Good and the United Nations state that data is trained to be gender-biased.
Amber supported SDG5 for gender equality at the UN Social Good Summit.
When technology could be used to rescue, empower, or to help women, it’s instead of being used to wield power over them.
Numerous accounts supporting Amber Heard online have been suspended, deleted, harassed, and removed from the internet and even hacked, such as AmberHeard Italia page, MelanieMakeup, and witnesses. Petitions, videos, or posts supporting her are hardly seen and are suppressed online since they are not encouraged by social tech companies, their algorithms are manipulated by negative repetition, and they are not sponsored, despite hard news journalists or documentarians seeing them.
The COVID-19 era increased harassment, cyber abuse against women, and domestic violence with no way for them to receive any help from other people, situational support, economic aid, and certainly not from modern technology. Crowdsourced help doesn’t exist for domestic abuse victims in the USA. It shows how dire the situation is.
Amber Heard collected more evidence than most women ever will, and she did it in a society that tells women to be helpless.
We need to take action against cyber abuse and to help people with technology. Help crowdsourcing, crowdsourced housing and services, proactive protections against harms online, and updating public safety systems based on technology for good are the solutions we need. We need to move not only to being victim-centered but to be proactive to help others whether online or in-person.
We need to tell people to help others and that leadership based on creating positive social impact which can inspire others is wanted – not retaliated against.
We’re inspired to continue to work on changes to public safety.
We need to open our eyes to the problems of and solutions to our culture.
Earlier this week, Andrew Rossow, Senior Legal Editor at True Hollywood Talk and founder of the anti-cyberbullying movement, #CYBERBYTE, announced the launch of a Kickstarter in partnership with 13 Reasons Why and Supernatural actor, Mark Pellegrino, to help fund The Guardian Project – a multi-tiered attack on bullying which they hope to bring to the big screen as a docuseries.
In an interview with Influencive, Pellegrino and Rossow shed some light on the future of The Guardian Project. The project, according to Pellegrino, “enables victims to confront victimizers and obtain some form of justice. Whether that justice is restitution in the form of material payback for the harm caused by spreading false narratives, or the reform of the victimizers, we seek to empower victims of social media slander, libel, and bullying by letting the victimizers know that anonymity will not protect them from the consequences of their actions.”
The problem, Rossow says, is that our own regulators don’t want to believe this is a real problem. “Forty-eight states have some form of electronic harassment law, but the criminal provisions aren’t strong enough to do anything, other than slap on the wrist. This needs to change.”
For more information on The Guardian Project and its ongoing Kickstarter, please click below:
We should embrace leaders and inspiring people such as Heard, Pellegrino, and Rossow. More people should be supporting Amber and letting her be heard.
We need to do more to improve and save lives.