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Tech firms join Lady Gaga to fight online harassment

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NEW YORK – Major tech and media players are teaming up to fight online harassment.

Intel, Vox Media, Re/Code and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation have announced a new initiative called Hack Harassment that will “provide safer, more inclusive online experiences.”

“Online harassment is pervasive and can be vicious,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a statement. “We need to remember that behind every device, game, sensor or network is a real person with real feelings and real needs for safety.”

The four partners said they previously conducted a survey to better understand the tech industry’s relationship with harassment.

Eighty-four percent of those surveyed believe there is real-life risk and emotional impact for online harassment victims.

They also found that more than 60 percent of tech professionals don’t believe the tech industry is doing enough to prevent online harassment.

They plan to host a series of hackathons to promote awareness and increase accountability.

Online harassment has long been an issue in the tech industry and has been met with varying attitudes.

In October, SXSW canceled a pair of gaming and online harassment panels at its Austin festival, citing threats of violence.

But, after that decision caused a backlash, SXSW announced plans to host an Online Harassment Summit at SXSW in March.