Mother Jones


One congresswoman is trying to get cops, techies, and politicians to stop brushing off online harassment.

LATE ON A SUNDAY night in January, several police cruisers sped onto Rep. Katherine Clark’s street in Melrose, Massachusetts. Clark, a Democratic representative from the Boston suburb, was downstairs watching Veep with her husband. Two of her children were upstairs. When she heard the sirens, Clark darted outside to check on her neighbors. Instead, she saw police officers on her lawn, toting rifles.

Clark soon realized what was going on. A few months earlier she’d sponsored a bill to combat “swatting,” in which a harasser makes a fake emergency call to trigger an enormous police response at

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