Sir, just give me the stats… – Social Networking Fact Sheet

According to the Pew Internet Project’s research on the social networking

As of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites

As of January 2014, 19% of online adults use Twitter.

Although percentage of the women Twitter user is less than the men, women tweets more.   Here is the proof

If you want more stats, according to the beevolve.com. According to this site, 53% women user in the Twitter.

Although women tweets more, they prefer protected accounts. My comment on this issue is women prefer protected account because they want to prevent or minimize the cyber violence, stalking, haressement, etc. Yes, cyber-violence force women to limit themselves.

Finally, I want to show you the gender distribution by country on the Twitter .

Thanks for the beevolve.com and Pew Internet Research for their statistical analysis.

If you are curious about other statistics, please check this links, Pew Internet Research and beevolve.com

References

[1] http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/

[2] http://www.beevolve.com/twitter-statistics/#a1

Internet Governance Forum(IGF) 2014

Internet Governance Forum or in short IGF is a multi-stakeholder forum to discuss the internet policies and internet governance. IGF 2014 takes place at Istanbul and this year, “Feminist Principles of the Internet” at the Sexual Rights are discussed as a pre-event of this forum. So various sexual rights activists, women’s human rights defenders and gender equality advocates share their precious thoughts on the  intersections between sexuality and internet rights in the framework or internet governance. As we know, cyberspace becomes more sexist and day by day the number of women who faced with any kind of cyber violence increases. In order to prevent this, in this pre-event, the following themes are discussed.

– Pornography, children and violence;
– Access, transformation and resistance;
– Privacy, anonymity and data;
– Amplify, Information and regulation

Thanks to this pre-event and sexual rights activists, women’s human rights defenders and gender equality advocates may be some problems related to cyber violence will be solved in the future.

For more information about this pre-event, please check this links( (Re)govern and (Re)imagine a feminist internet: Sex, rights and internet governance at the IGF 2014)

GenderIT – Feminist reflection on internet policies

After various reading and watching news about the gender based violence in internet, I conclude that(also various researchers think like that) internet policies and law to protect the women is not sufficient. So, knowing the internet policies and  keep abreast of the changes, if any, becomes important. But how do we know the policies and changes.Hmm, at this point, I want you to introduce a perfect site for internet policies in terms of feminist perspective. This site is GenderIT(http://www.genderit.org/ ). It site is emerged from the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Rights Programme’s advocacy work in information and communications technologies (ICTs).  National policy, gender-sensitive language, understanding of the impact of poor or positive policy, etc. is their concern. This site monitor ICT policies which affect women around the world, but specifically in four regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Eastern Europe and Latin America.

They give news about the internet governance, various feminist talks for this issue, etc. This site is perfect for the women to understand the laws and policies.

Amanda Todd’s story

13 years old Amanda entered a chat room to meet new people. One man that she talked force her to  flash her breasts to the webcam. He took a screen shot and sent to a porn website and show this photo to his friends. One year later, he wanted a show and black mail her so that he can produce more photo. He knew Amanda’s address, families, relatives and friends. She was afraid that her family know this issue. Finally, it become a vicious cycle. As a second aspect of the cyber sexual violence, one of Amanda’s friends coerced her into having sex with him, and then pitted his girlfriend against her in a confrontation. The last straw was that all of her pictures were posted on Facebook. When an online bullying campaign began, she commit a suicide. Before she committed a suicide, she posted a video to the YouTube and she told the tale by flash card.

According to the BBC News , the man as been charged in the Netherlands in connection with the suicide of Amanda Todd. But accoridng to the Amanda’s mother,

“I don’t want everyone to get so hyped up that this is it, that this is the end,I don’t think in my heart that this is the end. It’s the start of it. There’s more than one person in those chat rooms. There are more people responsible for extorting [Amanda].”

In my previous post, I mentioned the Amanda Todd but this post is about her story. For more information about I can suggest to read The NewYorker News “The Story of Amanda Todd“.

Twitter and Gender-Based Haressment

In my previous posts(post1, post2), I explained the effects of the Twitter’s blocking policy change and women&groups’ reactions and some solutions for this change, in detail since this change threat the women, people of color, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. Some people showed their reaction with a #RestoreTheBlock hashtag to explain how they use the blocking function and why it is useful.

They start a petition on Change which I mentioned in my previous post. Zerlina Maxwell, a political analyst and feminist writer who started the petition says that

As a public person who uses the medium for my work, I am very concerned because stalkers and abusers will now be able to keep tabs on their victims, and while there was no way to prevent it 100 percent before, Twitter should not be in the business of making it easier to stalk someone

Maxwell received hundreds of rape and death threats after an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program earlier this year.

“We never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe,” Michael Sippey, Twitter’s vice president of product wrote in an announcement Thursday night. He also mentions that Twitter is dissatisfied with the “old” block option, which keeps blocked users from seeing any activity of the blockers, saying it’s “not ideal, largely due to the retaliation,” which sometimes involves blocked users recruiting their followers to harass the blockers.

Twitter now has a abusive behavior policy that forbid “direct, specific threats of violence against others,” which still make some of the users feel unsafe. In order to prevent the online abuse, contest is started under #ByeByeBullying hashtag and Twitter supports Bullying Awareness Week.

Now blocking function is restored and mute option is introduce which temporarily filter out someone from your feed and mentions without fully blocking them.

Jenn Pozner, executive director of Women in Media and News accuse the policy on an indifference to women.She told ThinkProgress

They have been told directly by their female users in a ton of different ways that there is a long-term problem that female users have with violent harassment. I’ve stopped reporting stuff to Twitter because nothing ever happens. They never did anything about it.

Twitter promise over the summer that they will take this issue more seriously and they will make ease to report.

For more information about these issue, you can also read Why Doesn’t Twitter Take Gender-Based Harassment More Seriously? and also you can read Twitter Apologizes To Victims Of Online Abuse, Updates Its Policy For Reporting Rape Threats.

WAM Twitter Harassment Reporting Tool

In my previous post, I mentioned that Twitter change its blocking policy so blocking properties partially removed from the Twitter. In order to deal with this change, women’s rights advocacy group launch a tool to report harassment or individuals to report for others’ benefit.

In the report, user describe the date the harassment started, whether or not the victim fears for their personal safety, the exact sort of abuse experienced and whether the abuse is coming from one account or many. Then this report submitted to the Women, Action, & the Media (WAM!), a nonprofit that has sought “gender justice in media” since 2004. WAM! collects the info and works to get a resolution from Twitter.

Twitter also offer a form to report an abuse. This form consists of a menu that that includes options like “specific violent threats,” but does not offer the same level of detail — “revenge porn,” for example — that WAM! does. Thus it is not as effective as WAM!’s tool does.

Jaclyn Friedman, executive director for WAM! told HuffPost via email that

“We feel that [Twitter’s] current reporting tool doesn’t capture enough of the context of the way different women are targeted on Twitter,”

Accoridng to the WAM! ,thier primary aim is data collection and information collected by the tool will ultimately inform how Twitter deals with harassment of women in the future.

For more information about this issue please read the Huffington Post “Twitter Teams With Advocacy Group To Fight Harassment Against Women” news.

To access the WAM! Twitter Harassment Report Tool please follow this link.

5 Ways to Handle and Prevent Cyber-Harassment

Social expert and founder & president of Yoursphere Media Inc., Mary Kay Hoal from abcNews list number of ways to handle and prevent cyber harassment. According to the Mary Kay, the ways are [1]

1. Recognize the situation for what it is: Online harassment. It can also be referred to as cyber bullying, but regardless of the name, know that this is a sign of weakness for the perpetrator. As upsetting as it can be, recognize that it’s extremely important that you DO NOT respond to this person. Engaging with the bully often only makes matters worse. They feed off their victim’s misery and pain.

2. Make a copy of the message, photo or video. The best way to do this is to copy the URL of the specific webpage where it’s happening. Then screenshot the webpage, just in case. Here are some instructions on how to do that.

3. Contact the website operators by phone, email and any contact submission forms that they have available on their site. Request that they take the content down immediately, and let them know that you’re filing a case with your local police department. Remain persistent. Continue calling and emailing the website operators until the content has been removed.

4. File a report with your local police department. While some police departments have an “Internet crimes division,” many do not. So unfortunately, in many cases the police can only get involved if your life has been threatened.

5. If necessary, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. They work together to track down serious cases of online criminal complaints.

After you’ve taken these steps, and depending on the effect the following suggestion may have on your social life, you may want to consider telling your friends and family what’s going on. In most serious cases, it’s better that you let them know what’s happening before they hear it from someone else. When doing this, however, you want to be sure to keep the details private, so it’s a good idea to talk to your friends and family in person versus sharing the details online.

Following the incident, you’ll want to practice being proactive when it comes to your online safety and privacy. One way to do this is to make sure your social networking profiles are set to the maximum level of privacy so that you aren’t unintentionally providing a roadmap for the perpetrator to your whereabouts or the whereabouts of other family members. It’s a good idea to take a break from using social networks and online forums.

5 Steps to Prevent Online Harassment

If you’re not a victim but would like to proactively protect yourself and your family members, I recommend following these five steps in addition to the advice above:

1. Avoid participating on forums or sites that encourage anonymous posts, like Topix.com. These sites have a history of user complaints about allowing inappropriate content to remain on their sites and not taking sufficient steps to block the person who posted it.

2. Buy the domains for your and your children’s names. This could help prevent someone from making a “hate site” about you or your child. Domains are relatively cheap from sites like GoDaddy.com.

3. Use Google Alerts. This will facilitate email notifications being sent to you whenever you or your family member’s name appears online.

4. Avoid using any social network or online forum as your online diary. Venting in status updates and posting stories about your personal life are easy ways for people with bad intentions to take advantage of you. It’s important to realize that, just as in real life, there are some things that aren’t meant to be shared with the public. If you absolutely have to share something personal with someone else online, send them a private message or an email.

5. Find and remove your personal information from information-aggregator sites like Spokeo.com. Sites like these make it easy for individuals to obtain relatively accurate information about you. Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow.

Finally, recognize that these steps, though helpful, are not entirely fool-proof and can’t guarantee that you or a family member won’t be harassed online. While it’s important to follow these steps, it’s equally important that you establish a dialogue with your children about why it’s never O.K. to harass or bully someone online. The key to ending cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking starts at home, and involves each of us teaching our children how to be kind, responsible digital citizens.

Who is Mary Kay Hoal ?

Mary Kay Hoal is a nationally recognized expert on children’s online safety. She is the founder and president of Yoursphere Media Inc., which focuses on the family and publishes the kids’ social network Yoursphere.com. Mary Kay also offers parents Internet-safety information and tips at YoursphereForParents.com. She has been profiled on CNN, Fox & Friends, FOX Business, E!, Lifetime TV, ABC News Now, and The Reader’s Digest. Mary Kay is also part of the “Web Avenger” team for ABC’s 20/20.[2]

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/We_Find_Them/ways-handle-prevent-cyber-harassment/story?id=15973742

[2] http://www.kidsinthehouse.com/expert/parenting-advice-from-mary-kay-hoal