Take a Stand | Don’t forward

In Canada a teenager was arrested for distributing photos and a video of a sexual assault of a 16-year old girl. In South Africa, a video that depicts the alleged rape of young girl by two boys in her school is being distributed via cellphone and through the internet. The video was recorded on a cellphones by someone who was watching. These are not isolated incidents.


In many countries the filming and distribution of images such as these is a criminal offence. It must be – those who are filming are not doing anything to prevent the violence. As ‘spectators’ they are implicated in the assault themselves. But what of those who receive and forward the images and videos, what is their role in the continuation and replication of the violence committed? How are they implicated in the violence? What does the sharing of this material mean for the victim who has to live with the knowledge that her violation and trauma, is being distributed, replicated and viewed by others? How many times have you received forwarded message that contains photographs or a video of someone being violated or humiliated? What do you do with it? Do you pass it on? Or do you stop its spread and delete it?


Many people think that it is ok to forward material like this. They argue that the damage is already done and that they are merely doing what everyone else has done already by sharing it. But every act of passing it on, and forwarding the message, is another act of violence. You have the power to stop the spread. Take a stand. Don’t forward.

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This year, Take Back The Tech! calls for action to defend our right freedom of expression and information – the basic building blocks for us to be able to come together, organise for change, inform public debate, define culture, build safe spaces and end violence against women. How can we get at least 1 000 views and 1 000 comments from GenderIT.org's partners and readers to support most amazing the Take Back The Tech! video!before 10 December?
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Francoise Mukuku reports from the world march of women against sexual violence that took place in October 2010 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Special Rapporteur of the United Nations has named the Democratic Republic of Congo the "rape capital of the world," with 15,000 women raped in DRC only during last year. In her blog, Francoise also shares how information and communication technologies have helped to increase survivors' voices
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Jac sm Kee speaks with one of the most vocal media and communication rights advocates in Malaysia, Sonia Randhawa, through an online messenger platform about motivations, communication technologies, rights, democracy, tactics and gender. Sonia currently sits as the Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ). Apart from conducting regular trainings on independent media and communications strategies, CIJ is also developing community radio programmes that innovatively combine “old” and “new” technologies – radio and the internet – through Radiq Radio.
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‘Does your mother know?’ Agency, risk and morality in the online lives of young women in Mumbai

Manjima Bhattacharjya and Maya Ganesh, the India partner of the APC's EroTICs Project, open their input with the evocative lyrics of a Swedish pop group ABBA: “And I can chat with you baby / Flirt a little, maybe / But does your mother know that you’re out ?” This article is about middle-class women digital natives in Mumbai, the city with the highest internet use in India, and the initial impressions of their online lives as drawn from interviews and survey data gathered for the ongoing EroTICs research project.
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How to look at censorship with a gender lens

Heike Jensen and Sonia Randhawa, APC WRP members participating in a gender team of the OpenNet Initiative in Asia (ONI-Asia), talk about how censorship and gender interrelate. Since 2006, APC WRP has taken a closer look at internet censorship and surveillance practices from a gender perspective in order to develop a gender research framework for examining freedom of expression, security and privacy for ONI project partners in Asia, as well as future research initiatives that are looking into the area of content regulation. ONI-Asia is part of a larger OpenNet Initiative, a collaborative project that aims to investigate, expose and analyse internet filtering and surveillance practices.