Hate and harassment translate from on the ground to online spaces, including in social media and games, but our laws have not kept up. Many forms of severe online misconduct are not consistently covered by cybercrime, harassment, stalking and hate crime law.
State legislators have an opportunity, consistent with the First Amendment, to create laws that hold perpetrators of severe online hate and harassment more accountable for their offenses, including at the state level:
Government officials have an important role to play in encouraging the game industry to institute robust and verifiable industry-wide self-governance. This could take many forms, including Congressional oversight that raises awareness and understanding of the problem of hate and harassment in online games.
Law enforcement is a key responder to online hate, especially in cases when users feel they are in imminent physical danger. Increasing resources and training for these departments is critical to ensure they can effectively investigate and prosecute cyber cases.