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HeartMob is a community working to help end online harassment. We believe that the freedom of speech online doesn't mean anything if people are not free from abuse and harassment.

HeartMob is a project of Hollaback!, a non-profit organization powered by a global network of local activists who are dedicated to ending harassment in public spaces. Since Hollaback!’s founding in 2005, we (the leaders of the organization) have faced online harassment. At first the harassment took the form of emails where we were called “carpetmunchers” and “dirty lesbians,” but eventually we began receiving rape and death threats. In 2013, fed up with being harassed, and angered by the harassment we saw happening across the internet, we decided to do something. HeartMob was co-founded by Hollaback! leaders Jae Cameron, Jill Dimond, Emily May, Debjani Roy, and Courtney Young.

The premise for HeartMob is simple: we want to fight fire with water. Bystander intervention is a best practice for addressing all forms of violence, but so often when harassment happens in person people aren’t around, and if they are around, they aren’t sure what to do. The internet solves some of these problems: when online harassment happens, people are almost always around and if they aren’t around, they can be quickly summoned to show up. Through HeartMob, people can ask for exactly the kind of support they need, when they need it. Our goal is to reduce trauma for people being harassed online by giving them the immediate support they need -- and in doing that work, create an army of good so powerful that it can disrupt and ultimately transform the hearts and minds of those perpetuating online harassment.

HeartMob launched as a pilot in January 2016, following in depth interviews with 30+ survivors of online harassment, and extensive prototyping and testing with those most impacted by online harassment. We’re continuing to develop and iterate HeartMob through customer interviews, usability studies, surveys, and focus groups. If you’re willing to speak with us about your experience with HeartMob, please reach out to [email protected]. HeartMob can only be great if all of us work together to make it great, and we ask for your patience and generosity as we work together to build a better internet.

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We’re fighting fire with water, and working step by step to assist victims, educate communities, and stop harassment online.

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HeartMob Team