Women and online abuse- call out to those interested in addressing this issue

Most of my followers will know that I became a strong privacy advocate in the lead up to our last Census, that I created an extensively researched submission referenced in the Inquiry Report which allowed many of my followers to submit their thoughts & experiences with the census and that I have organised several events on issues surrounding privacy and civil rights.

I have been a big supporter of the resurgence of the CryptoParty movement in Australia and am keen to create an environment conducive to the needs of women who are rarely seen at such events. The more I read about the privacy and security issues women face online, the bigger the problem of misogynistic cyberhate appears to be. I have only just begun to scratch the surface of this issue however, the more I read, the larger the problem appears to be.

I have recently learned of the cyberhate project running through UNSW under the guidance of Dr Emma Jane (@mistyshouts) who teamed up with Nicole Vincent to create a Random Rape Threat Generator based on the real life abuse that women receive.

Dr Jane’s work features in a documentary available from tonight on ABC ivew and airing Wednesday 15 March on ABC2 where Tara Moss explores the mirky world of gendered cyberhate.

Facebook is also hosting an event for women in the limelight and the special issues it presents on March 22, featuring Mia Garlick from Facebook, Alison Hallworth from Elverson Social, Det. Insp. Dr. Carlene Mahoney, Claire Wardle from First Draft and Jenna Price from UTS and Fairfax.

I am also aware of the domestic violence advocates and womens’ legal rights groups who’s work overlaps in this area including the womens collective, SVWBS.

In thinking about how to address the privacy & security issues faced by women online (and also in real life), it strikes me that there is a large potential audience with a need which is currently unaddressed by existing privacy groups. I’d like to begin to change this starting in Sydney and I’m happy to do most of the leg work beginning with an informal discussion between people with a strong interest in this area or need for help.

Outcomes could be a privacy & security group run by women for women (who may not feel comfortable dealing with the issues they face in a male dominated environment) or it could be occasional events or other measures. This is a call out to those interested in participating in an informal discussion over dinner or drink (in Sydney) so we can learn from each other’s views and get a feel for what kind of demand there could be.

You can email me at atcra@protonmail.com or just ping me on twitter @info_aus. Once I have a list of interested parties, we can choose a time and place.

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