When Harshita Arora, 16, posted about her cryptocurrency price tracking app on Reddit, she was falsely accused of plagiarism and then abused online and even threatened with rape by men who couldn't accept that she'd created the app without a man to help her. Arora, who lives in a small town in India, studied computer science in school and was accepted into an MIT summer program where she learned to build apps.
From Taylor Lorenz's story in The Daily Beast:
Streams of hate poured in. Arora’s email was flooded with abusive language, disturbing messages, and veiled threats.
Redditors attempted to discredit her and call her a liar. They said only an older, more advanced programmer, probably a man, could build an app like hers.
“I doubt the girl herself came up with the idea and hired the contractor(s) herself. She’s a 16 year old girl, she doesn’t have the wherewithal or funds to do it herself (hiring the contractor, or coding the app),” one commenter wrote. “She’s trying to look pretty for boys in her class, worrying about what the bitch Jessie said to Brittany about Cloe who likes Brian even though he so likes Ciara, and sitting in her room listening to 21 pilots or whoever. That’s my take anyway.”
At first, Arora attempted to respond to the messages in earnest. She tried to show her work and respond to the accusations.
She was shocked to see a man she considered to be a friend turn on her and bash her in public as an untalented fraud.
But there was no halting the Reddit mob.
Some of her accusers have since apologized, including this guy.
If you own cryptocurrencies and an iOS device, you can buy Arora's app for $2 here.