April 29, 2016
"Take Back the Tech!" Addresses Cyberbullying against Women

A collaborative campaign provides a digital space that encourages solidarity to combat online violence against women and girls.

by Ayunda Nurvitasari, Reporter/Social Media Manager
Culture
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Like other aspects of modernity, the rapid development of information and communication technology has its dark side. In particular, it exposes its users to a a wide-range of tech-based violence. Unsurprisingly, most of the vulnerable targets are women and girls, who are at the receiving end of a variety of abuses including cyberstalking, online harrasment, surveillance and unauthorized use or manipulation of personal information through images and videos.

A lack of support and regulations to address cyberviolence has resulted in myriads of desperate victims who do not know how to stop the online abuse, how to report their abusers or who would be able to help. A lot of helpless victims of cyberbullying end up developing various psychological problems and many even commit suicide. According to Guardian, cyberbullying among teens is a more urgent problem than drugs. Indonesian children are among the most cyberbullied, according to a recent studies. More than 50 percent of Indonesian adults claimed to know a child who has been bullied online.

A collaborative campaign called Take Back the Tech! provides a digital space that encourages solidarity to combat online violence against women. Women and girls can take control of technology and use the numerous platforms strategically by actively advocating activism against cyberviolence. They attempt to actualize a safe online medium where everyone can “participate freely and equally without harassment or threats”.

Take Back the Tech! shares some strategies on how to handle hate speech, blackmail and cyberstalking. The strategies include some initial steps to be taken, various approaches suggested by people who had experienced it, and useful safety toolkits to effectively proctect your online privacy. The website also provides numerous information on research resources as well as action library where you can explore what have been done by people around the world to spread awareness on the issue. Get as much information as you need from their website and start your own campaign and online activism. Together let us all take back the tech!
Ayunda is interested in the intersection of pop culture, media, and gender issues. She earned her master's degree at Cultural Studies department, University of Indonesia. She is into Lana Del Rey, speculative fiction, and BoJack Horseman. Her own social media sites, however, are quite uneventful, but feel free to say hi: facebooktwitter.