The panel discussed issues related to online gender-based violence, in particular cyberbullying based on image sharing, and explored its effects on women and girls. Marina Kopidaki, a member of the SaferInternet4Kids’ Youth Panel, participated in the discussion during which she stressed the extent of the phenomenon in Greece and the importance of dealing with it. Marina pointed out that raising awareness from an early age is a priority.
As the workshop showed, it is not enough to simply understand the issues regarding online gender-based violence, but it is also necessary to identify the strategies and solutions needed to address these issues and gender imbalances. The panel discussed and highlighted how technology and communities are resisting. Watch the workshop recording below:
Whereas on the one hand, social media platforms are thriving with advanced technological software to identify and stop the sharing of non-consensual intimate images, this does not seem to be the case for online hate speech directed towards women and girls.
A recent example of this can be seen in the Suez Canal incident. Following the canal’s obstruction, fake information was circulated online and on different social media platforms that the ship’s captain was a woman. Most of the articles blamed – and included images of –Egypt’s first female ship captain, Marwa Elselehdar, which were taken from a previously published news story. The comments accompanying these articles were very degrading and sexual. In fact, in an interview with the BBC, Marwa Elselehdar stated “I felt that I might be targeted maybe because I’m a successful female in this field…”.
As the original article was written in English, it quickly circulated internationally. The gender-based comments targeting this woman were online for a long time and in different languages. Such incidents are proof that women are being targeted based on gender, and more needs to be done to prevent the sharing of fake information targeting women and allowing comments specifically targeting women from being uploaded.
Read more about Insafe’s participation at the Internet Governance Forum at www.betterinternetforkids.eu/igf.
To learn more about the Internet Governance Forum more generally, visit intgovforum.org.
Find out more about the work of the Greek Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.