Panel, Strategizing around online gender-based violence documentation and accompaniment practice, IFF, Spain

From Gender and Tech Resources

Title Strategizing around online gender-based violence documentation and accompaniment practice
Category Privacy Advocacy Digital Security Gender and Tech
Start 2018/03/05
End 2018/03/05
Hours 2
Scale World level for international activities
The following coordinate was not recognized: valencia.
The following coordinate was not recognized: valencia.
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Organisation Besides TTC and its programme “Gender and Technology Institute”, the session was organized in collaboration with Digital Rights Foundation (pakistan) + ciberseguras/social TIC (america Latina) + coding rights (brasil) + fundacion karisma (colombia) + (chile) + luchadoras (mexico).
Website Strategizing around online gender-based violence documentation and accompaniment practice:
Target audience Women Human Rights Defenders, Digital security trainers, researchers VAW, privacy advocated, funders
Number of participants 30
Context and motivations We had a session of 2 hours with several practitioners carrying out documentation and accompaniment for online gender based violence. We came together to discuss different challenges being faced when providing emotional and technical support, categorization and analysis of cases, assignation-projection of impact or harm, secure data practices, helpline possibilities and limitations, doing and sharing research and learnings. The session had around 35 attendees coming from a wide range of initiatives and countries. After presenting the different experiences developed by organisations involved in the organisation of the session we had an exchange with the different participants in the room.
Topics VAW, gender based on line violence, strategies of documentation, creating data, practices of accompinement
Links [[Links about the activity::During the event, the Institute of War and peace presented a recent publication in Spanish about experiences of women and latin american organisations supporting women facing GBV. The publication called "Hacks de Vida" makes reference to the TTC work on those topics.]]
Media [[File:]]
Agenda *Notes*

Taxonomies are useful for helping explain to the individuals who are reporting issues to help them use more accurate definitions. They use "blackmail" but there is no request for an exchange. But, the affected indivoidual does not have another word for the attack.

      1. Coordinated Harassment

When women reported incidents on social media channels online they would face significant additional attacks for doing so. There are teams of people who are ready to bully people online. Engage in any conversation with women and gender violence online. Also websites get DDOS'ed

    1. The need for data

who is creating the data about gender violence onloine there is a lack of data online but, also public policy folks are making bad decisions. But, when confronted they say. There is no data. It is hard to maintain data-sets. sets are small and unmaintained. Private platforms are not sharing this type of information with the public.

In Brasil there is one helpline that is for "online attacks" (not basecd on gender)

Attacks depend on the target - journalists, activists, and those with public profiles are more heavily targeted in Brasil. - Collectives that are openly speaking that they are pro-abortion are more targeted. - One journalist had her router hacked.

Most of the cases that come to them they are "big" public cases. - but many cases are "control of devices by partner and/or family" where they have to make the devices available. This also includes GPS location to track and control women. We don't talk about it much, ut it is common in Colombia. There is little authonomy and they have to share their passwords. These women are often controled by partners, brothers, etc.

A lot of folks talk about online violence. It looks like that is all the violence that happens. APC started talking about it as segmented violence. But, they are missing much because people are not recognizing the other types of violence as well.

    1. How are we documenting cases
      1. What do we deal with?
      1. what type of info do they record?
      1. How do you tell this person that you are taking notes?
      1. what part of the conversation do we tell people we are taking notes?

They eventually say they are taking notes, but that they are not recording sensitive info (record name, etc.) - if they do record your name they tell them this. - They inform them about data destruction processes - Most of the people are very satisfied by that.

How can they build a template for sharing and exchanging their data? Sometimes you just don't want to take notes because the case is so difficult to anonymize.

- How to anonymize data - How will we exchange that information?

We have two typologies. But every one of the violence has a different impact depending on the power, relationship, etc. But, it's also multi-layered, it requires time to understand the personal situation and the impact. As such the strategies and solutions are very unique. But, this is a good strategy. If we document it too much it could be used by the adversaries to run counter-attacks. When documenting good practice, don't document something that is so contextual that it can be used to build new attack tactics. In the working group they are trying to figure out trends so that they can share and learn with each other in the working group.

What is the purpose of the documentation that is to be shared? How to do case documentation to not put people in danger the people who come to them for help.

In Brasil they don't have a helpline. And, so the colleagues there are very brave.

There is a network of feminist pro-bono lawyers who are already doing helplines. There are other groups who already have helplines. (Lawyers, psych, etc.) But, those groups don't usually have the expertise on digital. We may have to work on building connections with those groups.

They try all the time to keep updated on new cases.

      1. Example from Syria

- They are working more and more with regular women (Not activists) - there has been a massive leapfrog of women on phones. - have to use them to communicate, and also to connect with dispersed families

1) Facebook Prison: everyone is on Facebook. It is the communication channel of choice. People are walking with their phones. People are taking phones from women. And these women are being arrested based on info on their phones. They are running all womens clinics on issues around owning the technology they are using.

2) Own your phone: Hairdressers taking a picture of themselves uncovered to send to a relative in Jordan. And, then someone takes that photo off their relative and these women have to leave their families and countries because it gets leaked. These women are active users but don't understand how to control their data and technologies.

3) Women go to local internet cafe where man helps set up accounts and keeps passwords after they set them up. They will keep access to the passwords after the fact. So, having to help women understand that.

      1. Documentation

we have to take the documentation to the platforms and/or the state. - For example: non-consenual pornography. The victims don't want to be dis-anonymised. When you go to the state the state demands personal inforemation. -- One underage victim didn't want to report with the state because her parents would know. -- How to avoid the institutional violence (revictimization) - In non-consentual pornography. On some platforms force you to give name, real-id, and sometimes even an account to report these things. Somehow you have to work with platforms to get this removed

Make sure that you communicate the actual possibilities with the individuals. Don't give them unrealistic expectations about how the case will progress. - "The process is very slow. Don't get your hopes up" - "This is how they will deal with your case" - You don't want an individual to be re-compromised by the hands of an official investigation

- Listening - Documentation - assessment - exploring solutions - drafting plans - whats next.

Feelings This panel was interesting because it was based on a collaboration among different organisations working on related topics. This format enables to better understand the big picture and the work achieved in certain regions around specific topics (for instance documentation and accompaniment of women facing gender based online violence + feminist infrastructure projects).
Feedbacks Participants were engaged and made many questions.