On the Harassment of Asus Lanka Comic Con Cosplayers

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As you may know, recently there were several Facebook pages where pictures of our attending cosplayers (male and female) were shared with intent to degrade, intimidate, and bully.

This is treatment women especially are familiar with, not just after big events, but even when they leave the house to go to work. What will someone say to me today? Should I look away and say nothing? What will anyone else do - will they also look away and pretend like nothing happened?

For our part, it may seem we were asleep at the wheel when this online harassment took place. That's completely true - we haven't slept properly in days, and sleep is where we've been putting most of our spare time since the event ended. I accept that this is not an excuse, and for this I apologize for myself and my team. We should have been on this. 

However, the geek and cosplay community wasn't sleeping - and that's what I want to discuss. When these people were harassed by people who are quite literally losers, they immediately organized to report those posters and those pages. Their quick and overwhelming action led to one Facebook page being unpublished, and 5 more are now under review. The community then went one step further, setting up a page specifically to combat online harassment against other geeks. 

I cannot tell you how inspiring this is for me. How proud I am. They saw people being attacked - and they said something. They stepped up and acted. Decisive, united, action

We live in a time when the idea of treating people, as if they were people, is unpopular. Well for those who disagree with this, that's just too bad. As far as we can reach, we practice this.

And we will expect it. 

Thilani Samarasinha
Principal Organizer, Lanka Comic Con Trust