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Open Thread: Have you experienced gendered abuse or harassment online?

We want to hear your stories.

Image: Shutterstock

OVER THE LAST decade, the amount of time people are spending online has been steadily increasing.

And while it’s not clear whether the volume of online harassment has grown, the level of discussion about this type of abuse has increased.

There are signs that online violence against women increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to UN Women, as both work and social activities moved to the internet.

Before Covid-19, one in ten women in the European Union reported having experienced cyber-harassment since the age of 15. This included receiving unwanted, offensive and sexually explicit emails or text messages, or offensive, inappropriate advances on social networking sites.

“Millions of women and girls are using videoconferences frequently, sometimes daily, to work and study,” a UN brief noted.

According to diverse media outlets, social media posts and women rights experts, different forms of on-line violence are on the rise including stalking, bullying, sexual harassment, and sex trolling. Examples include unsolicited pornographic videos while they are dialling into a social event via a virtual chat room.

This kind of targeted abuse or harassment results in self-censoring by women or a complete withdrawal from debates and online discussions, experts have said. 

The Good Information Project’s next cycle focuses on gender equality. Over the coming month, this cycle aims to provide readers with the information they need about women’s place in society and within the structures of power. 

As work and social lives moved more online during the pandemic, it has become more important than ever for the internet to be a safe space in which to operate. 

We want readers to be part of this discussion. Have you been the target of online abuse or harassment?

Have you censored yourself or avoided debate or discussion online out of concern about potential gendered-harassment? Was a decision to reduce your social media use the result of a bad experience?

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

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And did you ever report gendered abuse that you or someone else received to an online platform?

Share your experiences in the comments below.

If you’d prefer to share your experience anonymously, you can send it to michelle@thejournal.ie.

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