Online Misogyny and Sexual Harassment GSRF Event

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On June 17 2015, the GSRF organised a seminar to discuss the topical issue of online misogyny and harassment. We heard from three diverse and interesting speakers researching in this area: Dr Olga Jurasz (Open University), Mark McGlashan (Lancaster University) and Carl Miller from Demos (see below for speakers’ details). The seminar was chaired by Laura Thompson, who is studying at City University for a PhD on the sexual harassment of women over online dating services.

We had a lively discussion on a number of topics, including the role of the law and community policing in addressing online misogyny. Discussions also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #GSRFmisogyny. Here are just some of the Tweets from the event:

We look forward to furthering our Twitter engagement at future events. You can follow us at @GSRF_City.


Event Synopsis:

Online spaces such as blogs, forums and Twitter are invaluable resources for feminist communities. However, due to its nature, the Internet also expands the space available for misogynistic discourses to spread and be heard and – as the cases of Caroline Criado-Perez and Mary Beard demonstrate – provides an outlet for ‘trolls’ to enact vitriolic attacks on women who publicly voice their opinions. Whilst encouraging progress has been made in increasing public and corporate awareness, we still have much to learn about this problem and about how we can start to tackle it. This seminar will discuss new research into the online harassment of women and explore how academic work can start to answer some of these questions. Topics up for discussion include: what methods can we use to track harassment on large social media platforms? What is the role of the law in addressing cyber-hate against women? What would a more ethical Internet look like and how might this be achieved?


Olga Jurasz (Open University):  “Online Misogyny and Social Media: A Challenge for (Legal) Regulation”

Olga Jurasz is a lecturer in law at the Open University Law School. Her main research interests are public international law, human rights and legal regulation of gender-based violence. She has been recently working on a collaborative project addressing gender, cyberviolence and law.

Carl Miller (Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos): “Researching Misogyny on Twitter”

Carl Miller is the Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos. It is the first British think tank unit dedicated to researching and understanding the digital world.  He develops new ways of understanding social media as a new part of social and political life. He wrote a weekly column on digital politics for The Sunday Times and is a social media commentator for Sky.  He is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, London.