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John Oliver shows how trolls have turned the internet into a nightmare for women

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

The internet is a cruel place for women, and the only people who might be reasonably surprised by that fact are people who aren't on the internet. In the past couple of years, we've seen this sad truth come to light via the gross threats against women that arose from Gamergate, the celebrity iPhone hack, and, more recently, Reddit's decision to shut down its Fat People Hate forum because of online harassment that ensued.

During Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver devoted a 16-minute segment to the topic of just how ridiculous, embarrassing, and infuriating the internet has become — and, more importantly, how unsafe and inhospitable it can be for, in Oliver's words, "any woman who makes the mistake of having a thought in her mind, and then vocalizing it online."

"Congratulations on your white penis — because if you have one of those, you probably have a very different experience of the internet," Oliver added.