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Helping End Gender-Based Abuse Online

As part of the Web Foundation’s commitment to tackle digital inequality, the Web Foundation’s Gender and Data Rights team has created a dedicated workstream focused on developing solutions to online gender-based violence and abuse (OGBV).

Download Report (3.2MB)

Background

Between March 2020 and February 2021, we convened four multi-stakeholder consultations. These consultations brought together some of some of the world’s largest tech platforms, civil society organisations, government representatives and academia to generate evidence, build relationships and engage in constructive dialogue around women’s experiences of online gender-based violence and abuse.

We then used the insights and evidence gathered during our consultations to develop a series of three policy design workshops throughout April 2021. Led by two service design firms, Feminist Internet and Craig Walker, the workshops applied design-thinking and co-creation to develop prototypes that centre the experiences of women most impacted by online abuse.

Specifically, the workshops focused on the experiences of highly visible women online (e.g. politicians, journalists, activists) from around the world, and provided an opportunity for participants to innovate around content curation and reporting flows.

Curation

This theme is about how to give women more choice over what they see online, when they see it and how they see it, as well as greater control over who can comment or reply to their posts.

Recommendation

Build better ways for women to curate their safety online

This could be achieved by
  1. Offering more granular settings (e.g. who can see, share, comment or reply to posts)
  2. Using more simple and accessible language throughout the user experience
  3. Providing easy navigation and access to safety tools
  4. Reducing the burden on women by proactively reducing the amount of abuse they see

Reporting

This theme explores how reporting processes can be improved so women can better manage and track their reports, and so that companies can respond to reports of abuse more effectively.

Recommendation

Implement improvements to reporting systems

This could be achieved by:
  1. Offering users the ability to track and manage their reports
  2. Enabling greater capacity to address context and/or language
  3. Providing more policy and product guidance when reporting abuse
  4. Establish additional ways for women to access help and support during the reporting process


Reports

Read the report to find out more about the recommendations, design suggestions, and our unique approach to tech policy design.

Thanks to the organisations that participated in our consultations and workshops

View the full list
Thanks to the organisations that participated in our consultations and workshops

“While we can’t quickly unwind the sexism that drives abuse, we can redesign our digital spaces and change the online environments that allow this misogyny to thrive.”

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Azmina Dhroidia
Web Foundation Senior Policy Manager for Gender and Data rights