The calling out of creepy messages and harassment on social media has helped shed light on the problem for those who may not have been aware the issue existed in the first place.
One person who began to realise the true extent of what many women have to deal with online is Twitter user @pharmasean, a 34-year-old man from Boston, Massachusetts, who asked BuzzFeed not to use his real name.
In a tweet that has gone viral, @pharmasean decided to create fake conversations that showed what he thought it would look like "If men interacted with everybody the way they interact with women on social media".
He said that while he had not personally received a message like the ones he parodies, he thought he would "have fun" by imagining what it would be like for men to try to talk to others the way they do to women online.
Some of his "messages" include fictional conversations with housemates, potential employers, library staff, and food delivery services.
"The screengrabs in my tweets are all based on real interactions – I essentially transcribed the men's parts from real conversations I've seen on the web, countless times," he told BuzzFeed News.
He said he thinks many men are "constantly surprised" that women receive so much strange and unwanted interaction online – "from the subtly sexual, to the creepy, to the sometimes outright abusive and criminal".
"There's been a long ongoing conversation on the web about how we treat each other, how we treat people who are different than us, and how we treat women in particular on social media," he told BuzzFeed News.
"There's this instinct to say as a man that if you don't personally see it, it can't really be happening – or 'I don't behave that way, so it's not really a problem.'"
@pharmasean said he is still dumbfounded that some men think it's acceptable to send these types of messages: "It's hilarious that they think behaving like this will help them achieve any kind of goal."
He said his tweet has resonated with a lot of women, and has a message for people who send messages like the ones he parodies: "You need to check how you behave towards women, IRL and online. Don't be defensive and weird."
Rossalyn Warren is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Rossalyn Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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