Cynthia Lowen discusses her new film 'Netizens' and the current state of the internet

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

Cynthia Lowen. Photo: Gilad Cohen

Emmy-nominated filmmaker Cynthia Lowen has seen firsthand how cyber abuse can have an impact outside the chat room. Everything from mean tweets to revenge porn has turned a tool that was once supposed to democratize information into an expansion of the hostile and abusive structures that poison our society today.

This is especially true if you are a woman on the internet, where the rates of bullying and violent threats are nearly double that of a man. This has resulted in careers being destroyed, severe mental health issues and increased suicide rates. This is why Lowen’s latest film Netizens focuses on Tina Reine, Carrie Goldberg and Anita Sarkeesian: three incredible women who are fighting to take control back from cyber abusers and make the internet the equitable space it was initially supposed to be.

Lowen joins the Hum Podcast with co-hosts Gilad Cohen and Simona Ramkisson for an insightful discussion on Netizens, the gender dynamics of being on the internet, and the efforts to bring practical reforms to privacy laws. It is a conversation that you won’t want to miss.

To find out when Netizens is coming to your city, visit their website at

Hosted by Gilad Cohen (Founder, JAYU) and Simona Ramkisson. 
Produced and edited by Brandon Fragomeni and Alex Castellani.

The show is a JAYU production. JAYU is a Toronto-based charity that shares human rights stories through the arts. JAYU has an annual Human Rights Film Festival, a photography empowerment project and more. You can learn more about JAYU here.

Photo credit: Gilad Cohen

Like this podcast? rabble is reader/listener supported journalism.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.