Long Title: Navigating Privacy and Safety Dilemmas Related to Gender-based Abuse in Social Media

Speaker: Toby Shulruff

Affiliation: The National Network to End Domestic Violence (USA)

Gender-based abuse on social media platforms is both a deeply personal problem, and public one. The design of online communities and tools to address abuse create dilemmas as we navigate privacy and safety. For example, pseudonymity allows people from targeted communities to participate with less risk of being trolled but also allows trolls to operate with seeming impunity. End-to-end-encryption protects sensitive and highly personal communication, but also makes it more challenging to detect abusive content. Algorithmic filtering allows for abuse to be detected at scale, but can lack necessary context. Reporting and blocking users or content can provide a way for targets of abuse to counter abuse, but also places a burden on the victim. These dilemmas highlight what seem to be trade-offs as we navigate our online identities, trust, and safety, pointing to the need for robust conversations to guide governance and decision-making.

Toby Shulruff (she/her) works to build the capacity of communities to understand, make choices about, and ultimately shape the technologies that are woven into the fabric of our lives. Toby is a writer, trainer, project manager, and consultant – and a student in the MS Public Interest Technology program in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. Toby’s research includes the role of trust and safety work within technology companies as internal governance, the privacy and safety risks of everyday and emerging technologies including IoT, and the role of Public Interest Technology in global futures. Toby works at the intersection of technology and gender-based violence as Technology Safety Project Manager at the Safety Net Project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (US).