PODCAST | Gendered Cyberhate: the new digital divide?

This is part of #DemocracyFutures lunchtime seminar series.

Speaker: Dr Emma Jane (previously known as Emma Tom), The University of New South Wales

This seminar will investigate the threat posed to online participation and digital citizenship by one manifestation of what the American computer scientist Jaron Lanier has called an emerging online ‘culture of sadism’: namely, steep increases in rape threats and sexualised vitriol directed at women online. The Internet’s rapid growth, and its uptake in almost every aspect of daily life, has delivered countless social benefits. But the cybersphere’s anonymity is offering people new opportunities to attack each other with unprecedented venom and impunity. For example, the Pew Research Center has found that 49% of adult social networking site users witness mean and offensive behaviour. Focusing on one manifestation of this emerging culture of sadism, this seminar discusses whether gendered cyberhate is threatening women’s online participation and digital citizenship, and therefore constitutes a new dimension of the digital divide.

Language ‘warning’: the podcasts contain the same offensive language as the original cyber attacks.