Australian men’s right’s activist group Manly Men has implored the federal government to create a digital bill of rights to protect internet users against online threats and abuse.
The group claims that "many" men face threats and abuse from other users, particularly women.
The group did not provide any direct evidence of threats that members had received. Instead, they showed screenshots of Twitter and Facebook posts where women had used "mocking" language against them.
"It’s unfair," said Manly Men co-founder John Strongname. "I mean, we hunted the mammoth. And now these people use evidence-based arguments and logic and reason against us. We are now persecuted."
Strongname pointed to the case of Ryan Hawkins. Hawkins, 20, from Middleton in South Australia, sent a message to Clementine Ford's Facebook page that threatened to rape and bash Ms Ford and called her "lesbian scum.”
Clementine Ford is a columnist with Fairfax Media’s Daily Life section and is a strong advocate for women’s rights. Ms Ford made headlines when she recently called out TV programme Sunrise for victim blaming.
Strongname says Hawkins was “maliciously” singled out. "He was obviously trying to have a joke. This woman shares a private message online and now this poor man gets shamed and abused. It’s totally unfair. Men need protection."
Hawkins lied twice about the message he sent Ms Ford. First, he said a friend had sent the message, then claimed his phone had been hacked.
Strongname did not say anything about the thousands of females who constantly receive abuse, rape threats and death threat online.