Y Combinator’s Garry Tan Goes to the MatRead more

Art by Mike Sullivan.
Art by Mike Sullivan.

Nina Jankowicz Wishes She Didn’t Have to Write ‘How to Be a Woman Online’

The writer and former adviser to the Ukrainian government has experienced too much online trolling not to share what she’s learned.

April 22, 2022 12:00 PM PDT

This is 10 Questions, a column in which we ask tech authors to pull back the covers on their recently released books. Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Nina Jankowicz may be a former adviser to the Ukrainian government and a global fellow at the Wilson Center working on counter-disinformation programs for the Department of Homeland Security. But she also apparently has bags under her eyes. At least that’s what one man emailed Jankowicz after a recent appearance on the BBC. “I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe the fact that I’m pregnant, or the fact that the country I lived in for more than a year is getting attacked and people are dying every day. I don’t know, it could be any of those things,’” she said a few weeks later.

Thankfully, she was able to follow her own advice from “How to Be a Woman Online: Surviving Abuse and Harassment, and How to Fight Back.” “Instead of letting that bother me the way I used to, I just took a screenshot of [the email], made a silly comment online and got on with my day.” She spoke to The Information about the types of men she regularly meets on the internet (outlined in a delightful chapter dubbed “Troll Safari”), how easy it is for online abuse to spill over into real life and the soundtrack for some of her most inspired bouts of writing.

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