Women are increasingly bearing the brunt of digital abuse. The rise of social media platforms has created greater opportunities for hate against women to make its way online. This abuse can be devastating for those targeted and it also has direct negative consequences for women’s democratic participation.
In this episode, we’ll examine what’s behind the phenomenon of online abuse and examine the ways in which activists and legislators in the highly digitalized Nordic countries are trying to stem the tide of digital harassment. We also ask META, who owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, what they’re doing to combat this threat to women’s rights.
This podcast episode comes from a Nordic Talks live event held in Reykjavik, Iceland, organized by the Nordic Digital Rights and Equality Foundation, NORDREF.
“Men are targeted for what they do, but women are targeted for who they are”
Christian Mogensen, author of “The Angry Internet”
This podcast episode features the following speakers
Asha Allen (UK)
Asha Allen is Advocacy Director for Europe, Online Expression, and Civic Space at the Center for Democracy & Technology Europe Office in Brussels. Asha is an expert in digital rights. Her recent work with the European Women's Lobby, specifically coordinating the campaign #HerNetHerRights, maps the prevalence of violence against women in the digital space. The campaign aimed to increase women’s safety and participation online during the European elections.
Christian Mogensen (Denmark)
Christian Mogensen is the author of the 2020 study “The Angry Internet - A threat to gender equality, democracy & well-being”, which assessed the extent of online misogyny and antifeminism in the Nordic countries. As part of this research, Christian explored the so-called manosphere and incel culture in the Nordic region. He is interested in how social media and games can build bridges and his previous work has focused on gaming culture and its impact on children, young people, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Cindy Southworth (USA)
Cindy Southworth is Head of Women’s Safety for Meta, the company behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Her work focuses on empowering women to connect online and on combating issues that disproportionately impact women, such as the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. Before joining Meta in 2020, Cindy was Executive Vice President at the US National Network to End Domestic Violence.