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The nonconsensual taking or sharing of nude or sexual images, also known as “image-based sexual abuse,” is a major social and legal problem in the digital age. In this…
The nonconsensual taking or sharing of nude or sexual images, also known as “image-based sexual abuse,” is a major social and legal problem in the digital age. In this chapter, we examine the problem of image-based sexual abuse in the context of digital platform governance. Specifically, we focus on two key governance issues: first, the governance of platforms, including the regulatory frameworks that apply to technology companies; and second, the governance by platforms, focusing on their policies, tools, and practices for responding to image-based sexual abuse. After analyzing the policies and practices of a range of digital platforms, we identify four overarching shortcomings: (1) inconsistent, reductionist, and ambiguous language; (2) a stark gap between the policy and practice of content regulation, including transparency deficits; (3) imperfect technology for detecting abuse; and (4) the responsibilization of users to report and prevent abuse. Drawing on a model of corporate social responsibility (CSR), we argue that until platforms better address these problems, they risk failing victim-survivors of image-based sexual abuse and are implicated in the perpetration of such abuse. We conclude by calling for reasonable and proportionate state-based regulation that can help to better align governance by platforms with CSR-initiatives.
The ideal of an open, all-inclusive, and participatory internet has been undermined by the rise of gender-based and misogynistic abuse on social media platforms. Limited…
The ideal of an open, all-inclusive, and participatory internet has been undermined by the rise of gender-based and misogynistic abuse on social media platforms. Limited progress has been made at supranational and national levels in addressing this issue, and where steps have been taken to combat online violence against women (OVAW), they are typically limited to legislative developments addressing image-based sexual abuse. As such, harms associated with image-based abuse have gained recognition in law while harms caused by text-based abuse (TBA) have not been conceptualized in an equivalent manner.
This chapter critically outlines the lack of judicial consideration given to online harms in British courts, identifying a range of harms arising from TBAs which currently are not recognized by the criminal justice system. We refer to non-traditional harms recognized in cases heard before the British courts, assessing these in light of traditionally recognized harms in established legal authorities. This chapter emphasizes the connection between the harms suffered and the recognition of impact on the victims, demonstrated through specific case studies. Through this assessment, this chapter advocates for greater recognition of online harms within the legal system – especially those which take the forms of misogynistic and/or gendered TBA.
Technology-facilitated violence and abuse including image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) is a phenomenon affecting women and girls around the world. Abusers misuse technology…
Technology-facilitated violence and abuse including image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) is a phenomenon affecting women and girls around the world. Abusers misuse technology to attack victims and threaten their safety, privacy, and dignity. This abuse is gendered and a form of domestic and sexual violence. In this article, the authors compare criminal law approaches to tackling IBSA in Scotland and Malawi. We critically analyze the legislative landscape in both countries, with a view to assessing the potential for victims to seek and obtain redress for IBSA. We assess the role criminal law has to play in each jurisdiction while acknowledging the limits of criminal law alone in terms of providing redress.
As the means and harms of technology-facilitated violence have become more evident, some governments have taken steps to create or empower centralized bodies with…
As the means and harms of technology-facilitated violence have become more evident, some governments have taken steps to create or empower centralized bodies with statutory mandates as part of an effort to combat it. This chapter argues that these bodies have the potential to meaningfully further a survivor-centered approach to combatting technology-facilitated violence against women – one that places their experiences, rights, wishes, and needs at its core. It further argues that governments should consider integrating them into a broader holistic response to this conduct.
An overview is provided of the operations of New Zealand's Netsafe, the eSafety Commissioner in Australia, Nova Scotia's Cyberscan Unit, and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in Manitoba. These types of centralized bodies have demonstrated an ability to advance survivor-centered approaches to technology-facilitated violence against women through direct involvement in resolving instances of violence, education, and research. However, these bodies are not a panacea. This chapter outlines critiques of their operations and the challenges they face in maximizing their effectiveness.
Notwithstanding these challenges and critiques, governments should consider creating such bodies or empowering existing bodies with a statutory mandate as one aspect of a broader response to combatting technology-facilitated violence against women. Some proposed best practices to maximize their effectiveness are identified.
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven universities to deliver education online, making use of digital platforms for both formal and informal learning. This move has accelerated…
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven universities to deliver education online, making use of digital platforms for both formal and informal learning. This move has accelerated concerns regarding institutions’ capabilities to protect students from online abuse and support those who fall victim to its many forms. Empirical data drawn from UK universities prior to the pandemic highlight the lack of policy and practice across the university sector around both awareness of, and support from, online abuse among the student body. Further concerns during the pandemic, which highlight failures not just of safeguarding policy, but cybersecurity practice, demonstrate the need for universities to not only recognise their duty of care regarding student welfare but also to provide training and education for all, making use of online and hybrid higher education.
Incidents of violence perpetrated through digital technology platforms or facilitated by these means have been reported, often in high-income countries. Very little…
Incidents of violence perpetrated through digital technology platforms or facilitated by these means have been reported, often in high-income countries. Very little scholarly attention has been given to the nature of technology-facilitated violence and abuse (TFVA) across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) despite an explosion in the use of various technologies. We conducted a literature review to identify and harmonize available data relating to the types of TFVA taking place in SSA. This was followed by an online survey of young adults through the SHYad.NET forum to understand the nature of TFVA among young adults in SSA. Our literature review revealed various types of TFVA to be happening across SSA, including cyberbullying, cyberstalking, trolling, dating abuse, image-based sexual violence, sextortion, and revenge porn. The results of our online survey revealed that both young men and women experience TFVA, with the most commonly reported TFVA being receiving unwanted sexually explicit images, comments, emails, or text messages. Female respondents more often reported repeated and/or unwanted sexual requests online via email or text message while male respondents more often reported experiencing violent threats. Respondents used various means to cope with TFVA including blocking the abuser or deleting the abused profile on social media.
While digital technologies have led to many important social and cultural advances worldwide, they also facilitate the perpetration of violence, abuse and harassment…
While digital technologies have led to many important social and cultural advances worldwide, they also facilitate the perpetration of violence, abuse and harassment, known as technology-facilitated violence and abuse (TFVA). TFVA includes a spectrum of behaviors perpetrated online, offline, and through a range of technologies, including artificial intelligence, livestreaming, GPS tracking, and social media. This chapter provides an overview of TFVA, including a brief snapshot of existing quantitative and qualitative research relating to various forms of TFVA. It then discusses the aims and contributions of this book as a whole, before outlining five overarching themes arising from the contributions. The chapter concludes by mapping out the structure of the book.
This chapter examines the structure and sentiment of the Twitter response to Nathan Broad's naming as the originator of an image-based sexual abuse incident following the…
This chapter examines the structure and sentiment of the Twitter response to Nathan Broad's naming as the originator of an image-based sexual abuse incident following the 2017 Australian Football League Grand Final. Employing Social Network Analysis to visualize the hierarchy of Twitter users responding to the incident and Applied Thematic Analysis to trace the diffusion of differing streams of sentiment within this hierarchy, we produced a representation of participatory social media engagement in the context of image-based sexual abuse. Following two streams of findings, a model of social media user engagement was established that hierarchized the interplay between institutional and personal Twitter users. In this model, it was observed that the Broad incident generated sympathetic and compassionate discourses among an articulated network of social media users. This sentiment gradually diffused to institutional Twitter users – or Reference accounts – through the process of intermedia agenda-setting, whereby the narrative of terrestrial media accounts was altered by personal Twitter users over time.