Fight against digital gender-based violence: a guide and tips

Two NGOs published a guide to combat against digital gender-based violence and some tips included

Actually this article is based on Eylem Yılmaz’s story (link in Turkish) published at journo.com.tr. The story covers digital gender-based violence against women and reveals four women journalists’ views that the violence they have been exposed through social media. Nevşin Mengü, Burcu Karakaş, Amberin Zaman and Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, as women journalists, share their experiences on digital violence and they claim only the trolls have freedom of speech.  Aslı Aydıntaşbaş believes being thick-skinned could be the solution against violent attacks while exposing the perpetrator is another method of combating, according to Burcu Karakaş.

Digital violence is not a seperate type of violence

Thanks to Alternatif Bilişim Derneği  (Alternative ICT Association – AltBil) and Common Knowledge and Communication Association (TBİD), now there is a guide to fight against digital gender-based violence.  The guide (first part in Turkish, second part in English)  starts to define digital gender-based violence but finds out that it cannot be categorized under any type of violence, so a new type of form is needed. Because it includes cases that intersects with other types of violence, such as domestic violence, spouse violence, dating violence and digital violence. “It must not be forgotten that digital violence is not a separate concept from violence in ‘real’ life; and that it is a continuation of offline violence (domestic violence, violence against women) fed by the same inequalities,” said the guide.  

How to fight against digital violence social media: tips

Since most of the digital gender-based violence takes place in social media, the guide provides some helpful tips to combat against the violence in social media platforms. So I collected some of those tips below:

-First of all, read the Terms of Service of the social media platform in details. So you can see how your data are used and shared with other corporations.

-When you receive troublesome messages/posts, you should use the Report feature of the social media sites and block the perpetrator. So you can help get closed down of the account of the perpetrator.

-If you think you are a target of humiliating messages on social media,  you should get screenshots, gather evidences and start the legal process.

-If you are afraid you are being stalked, stop sharing your location. Clean your location history on your devices frequently.

-On the other hand, you can also report the defamation, hate speech or sexist remarks that have been directed to others to combat against digital violence.

As a result, the guide provides the definition of gender-based digital violence, types of digital violence and digital security tips to fight against the violence. On the other hand we see tactics against digital harassment and the legal frame of digital violence in Turkey. Let me note: Having prepared for the European Union Sivil Düşün Program with the EU support, here are the authors of the guide: Gülüm Şener, İlden Dirini, Nurcihan Temur, Şebnem Ahi and Şevket Uyanık.  

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