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Intel, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Recode and Vox Media Launch Hack Harassment Pledge at Code Conference

Born This Way Foundation President Cynthia Germanotta Unveils Pledge and Invites Audience of Leading Technology Executives and Innovators to Combat Online Harassment

CODE CONFERENCE, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., June 1, 2016 – At Recode’s annual Code Conference, Born This Way Foundation President Cynthia Germanotta called on the technology community to join the movement to combat online harassment by taking the Hack Harassment Pledge. Hack Harassment is a collaborative initiative led by Intel Corporation, Born This Way Foundation, Recode and Vox Media to reduce the prevalence and severity of online harassment.

During her presentation, Mrs. Germanotta discussed the offline consequences online harassment can have and its disproportionate impact on young people. According to the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of all Internet users report experiencing online harassment, and 70 percent of those 18 to 24 years old have been targeted. Mrs. Germanotta shared the story of one young person whose cyber bullying disrupted her life and mental wellbeing as well as the experiences of her daughter Stefani Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga.

“A young person who was being bullied a few generations ago could escape the abuse by going home. But today that harassment can follow them anywhere. Every computer, tablet, and smartphone can be used as a tool of cruelty and hate,” said Mrs. Germanotta. “That’s simply unacceptable and at Hack Harassment we believe we can and must do better.”

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Vox Media CEO and Chairman Jim Bankoff, Recode Executive Editor and Co-Founder Kara Swisher, and Mrs. Germanotta were the first to sign the Pledge, which can be signed at The call to action encourages users to recognize when online harassment is occurring, responsibly speak up against it, and support those experiencing it.

Hack Harassment launched in January with the goal of promoting safer, more inclusive online experiences by raising awareness of the issue, fostering cross-sector collaboration, and cultivating solutions for users. As a first step towards these goals, the initiative worked with Major League Hacking to sponsor challenges at hackathons hosted this spring at Rutgers University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of California, Davis.

Read the Hack Harassment Pledge below and visit to learn more.

Online harassment has become a pervasive and often vicious problem with real-life repercussions. It has significant negative consequences for the wellbeing and safety of individuals and for the success of digital communities. Everyone — regardless of their identity, background, or beliefs — is entitled to an online world where they are treated with respect and are free from harassment.

In order to build a safer, smarter, and more inclusive experience online, I will recognize when harassment is occurring, responsibly speak up against it, and support those experiencing it by:

  • Abiding by and upholding the same standards and values online that are expected offline and accepting that my online behavior has real-life consequences
  • Valuing and supporting diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and opinions
  • Actively participating in the movement to decrease the prevalence and intensity of online harassment

» See more at the Hack Harassment Press Kit

» Download all images (ZIP, 28.7 MB)

  • Kara Swisher, Brian Krzanich, and Jim Bankoff
  • Cynthia Germanotta
  • Brian Krzanich


About Vox Media

Vox Media is redefining the modern media company by empowering the smartest digital voices with the technology to create and distribute premium content, and connect with an audience of millions of affluent and educated young adults each month.  Vox Media is eight distinct brands: (News), The Verge (Technology and Culture), Re/code (Technology and Business), SB Nation (Sports) Polygon (Gaming), Eater (Food and Nightlife), Racked (Shopping, Beauty and Fashion), and Curbed (Real Estate and Home).  Vox Media’s investors include Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures, Khosla Ventures, General Atlantic, and NBC Universal.

About Recode 

Launched in 2014 and acquired by Vox Media in 2015, Recode is a leading source of tech and media business news and analysis, drawing a highly influential, dedicated, and informed audience.  Founded by renowned journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, Recode aims to reimagine tech business journalism, following the success of AllThingsD and D: All Things Digital conferences, which were also founded by Swisher and Mossberg. Recode produces the gold standard of tech and business conferences, known for their substance, quality, and unparalleled access to the biggest names in media, tech, and advertising.

 About Born This Way Foundation

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world. Born This Way Foundation achieves this by shining a light on real people, quality research and authentic partnerships. Working with more than 50 non-profit organizations, Born This Way Foundation has connected over 150,000 young people with services and programing in their communities. Born This Way Foundation has also partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the National Association of School Psychologists to collect data from more than 2,500 young people. This research, presented before the American Psychological Association, improved our understanding of young people’s views of mental-health services and delivery methods.


Media Contact:

Rachel Martin
DKC News

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