The Cyberhate Project

While my formal research into gendered cyberhate did not commence until 2011, I have been archiving examples of misogyny online for the past 18 years (see The Random Rape Threat Generator Origin Story section of this site for more details). Since January 2015, the part of my research which focuses on the impact of cyberhate on the way women use the internet has received funding from the Australian Federal government. This is in the form of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Award for a three-year project called ‘Cyberhate: the new digital divide?’ – aka The Cyberhate Project. This project involves studying rape threats and other hostility directed at women on the internet and on social media platforms. The aim is to investigate whether gendered cyberhate is affecting women’s online participation, and whether it might constitute a new dimension of the digital divide*. I am using Michel Foucault’s genealogical approaches to map the history of misogyny online, as well as conducting qualitative interviews. (For more information, see the Methodology page.)

While hostility on the internet has been extensively studied by cyberbullying researchers to determine its impact on young people, there is relatively little research on its effect on adult targets. Nor has there been – at least up until recently – a great deal of literature looking at why so much contemporary cyberhate targets women and involves the language of sexual violence. The Cyberhate Project aims to contribute new knowledge to the digital citizenship** literature, and to help fill a significant research gap in terms of understanding the nature and impact of hate speech online. It will culminate in an international symposium in 2017, and hopes to assist in laying the foundations for future research which canvasses real-world solutions to the problem of gendered cyberhate in forms such as technology design, educational initiatives, and policy.

* ‘Digital divide’ is a term used to refer to inequalities relating to internet use.
** ‘Digital citizenship’ is a term used to describe full participation in the cybersphere.

– Emma A. Jane

Since January 2014, The Cyberhate Project has resulted in the following research outputs:

Scholarly monographs

Jane, E. A. (2017) Misogyny Online: A Short (and Brutish) History. London: Sage.

Scholarly chapters

Jane, E. A. (2017 – in press) ‘Gendered Cyberhate, Victim-Blaming, and Why the Internet is More Like Driving a Car on a Road Than Being Naked in the Snow’, in Elena Martellozzo and Emma A. Jane (eds.), Cybercrime and its Victims: An International Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Martellozzo, E. and Jane, E. A. (2017 – in press) ‘Introduction: Victims of Cybercrime on the Small “I” Internet’, in Elena Martellozzo and Emma A. Jane (eds.), Cybercrime and its Victims: An International Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Vincent, N. A and Jane, E. A. (2017 – in press) ‘Conclusion: Beyond Law: Protecting Cyber Victims Through Engineering and Design’, in Elena Martellozzo and Emma A. Jane (eds.), Cybercrime and its Victims: An International Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Jane, E. A. (2017 – forthcoming, accepted for publication) ‘Hating 3.0 and the Question of Whether Anti-Fan Studies Should Be Renewed For Another Season’, in Melissa A. Click (ed.), Dislike, Hate, and Anti-fandom in the Digital Age, New York: New York University Press.

Jane, E. A. (2017 – forthcoming, accepted for publication 17 August, 2016) ‘Feminist Flight and Fight Responses to Gendered Cyberhate’, in Marie Segrave and Laura Vitis (eds.), Gender, Technology and Violence. Oxon: Routledge.

Jane, E. A. (2017 – forthcoming, accepted for publication 30 July, 2016) ‘Gendered Cyberhate: A New Digital Divide?’, in Massimo Ragnedda and Glenn W. Muschert (eds.), Theorizing Digital Divides. Oxon: Routledge.

Scholarly journal articles

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘“Dude… stop the spread”: antagonism, agonism, and #manspreading on social media’, International Journal of Cultural Studies: 1-17, DOI: 10.1177/1367877916637151

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Online misogyny and feminist digilantism’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2016.1166560

Jane, E. A. (2016 – forthcoming, accepted for publication 2 September, 2016) ‘Feminist digilante responses to a slut-shaming on Facebook’, Social Media + Society.

Other articles

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Stopping online abuse isn’t censorship: it’s the least we can do’, The Age, 14 July, available at: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/stopping-online-abuse-isnt-censorship-its-the-least-we-can-do-20160713-gq4oj5 (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘DIY internet justice is a symptom, not a solution to online misogyny’, Daily Life, 11 April, available at: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-culture/diy-internet-justice-is-a-symptom-not-a-solution-to-online-misogyny-20160410-go2z6z.html (2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘What bit about the wrongs of sexual threats against women do courts and men not get?’, The Conversation, 4 August, available at: https://theconversation.com/what-bit-about-the-wrongs-of-sexual-threats-against-women-do-courts-and-men-not-get-63447 (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Rape threats and cyberhate? Vote no to the new digital divide’, The Conversation, 22 June, available at: https://theconversation.com/rape-threats-and-cyberhate-vote-no-to-the-new-digital-divide-43388 (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘How to Keep the Internet Hot’, Medium, 28 August, available at: https://medium.com/festival-of-dangerous-ideas/how-to-keep-the-internet-hot-6fb9a37ad120#.mbrp5fybk (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘What I’ve learned from my study into gendered cyberhate’, Daily Life, 31 August, available at: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-culture/what-ive-learned-from-my-study-into-gendered-cyberhate-20150828-gj9qsu.html (accessed 6/11/16).

Talks and conferences

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Women We Love to Hate’, All About Women festival, Sydney Opera House, 6 March, panel with Charlotte Wood, Michelle Arrow, and Ruby Hamad (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Ladies Online’, Sydney Writers Festival, 22 May, chair of panel with Tara Moss, Rosie Waterland, and Natalie Tran, Sydney (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘The New Feminist Frontier’, GOMA Talks, 21 July, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), panel with Alanah Pearce, Melinda Rackham, and Nicolas Suzor, and Paul Barclay, (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Cybersexism: How did the internet become unsafe for women?’, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney Opera House, 6 September, panel with Clementine Ford, Laurie Penny, and Julia Baird (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Women online: Virtual violence, real harm’, Damned Whores and God’s Police – 40 Years On, University of Technology, Sydney, 22 September, panel with Candice Chung, Van Badham, Annalise Hartwig, and Jenna Price (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘“Dude… Stop the Spread, Please” – manspreading, mimetic antagonism and feminist digilantism online’, Digital intimate publics: identities, relationships and value in social media cultures, University of Queensland (Brisbane), 19-20 November.

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Feminist digilantism: the “perfect” solution to online rape threats?’, GTFO – Empowered Users, Objective Violence and the Governance of Participatory Media, University of Sydney, 4 September.

Jane, E. A. (2015), ‘Gendered Cyberhate: The New Digital Divide?’ Democracy Futures seminar series, Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney, 29 April (invited).

NB: Emma A. Jane is employed by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and is the recipient of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA Project ID: DE150100670). The views expressed in this site are those of the author’s and are not necessarily those of the ARC or UNSW.