EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Detecting, preventing and responding to image-based abuse
This project aims to investigate the efficacy of digital tools and interventions to detect, prevent and respond to image-based abuse (IBA), that is, the non-consensual creation or distribution of intimate images. Through a digital ethnography, victim and survivor and stakeholder interviews, online surveys and an AI chatbot, the project expects to generate evidence and theory on both IBA and internet governance. The expected outcomes include increased understanding of the responsibility of digital platforms and the drivers of image-based abuse; improved platform and service responses; enhanced industry and scholarly collaborations; and harm reduction. Expected benefits include improved laws, policies and practices to tackle IBA.
This project aims to:
- investigate the patterns, characteristics and methods of IBA perpetration on online platforms
- examine the scope, effectiveness and impacts of tools, policies and practices of online platforms and services that are designed to detect, prevent and respond to IBA
- develop theory on IBA perpetration, victimisation and internet governance.
This project will adopt a mixed-methods approach over six phases:
1. digital ethnography of perpetrator practices on digital platforms that host non-consensual nude or sexual imagery
2. a desk-based review of the tools, policies and practices of key digital platforms and services for detecting, preventing and responding to IBA
3. interviews with stakeholders to investigate their experiences of, and perspectives on, remedies for IBA
4. interviews with victims and survivors to explore experiences in seeking remedies for IBA
5. an online survey with adult victims and survivors of IBA to investigate experiences of legislative responses, content removal requests and support services
6. the design and build of an AI chatbot, which will provide online information, support and advice to victims and survivors, bystanders and perpetrators.