Being an Online Active Bystander
Everyone who uses the online space is a digital citizen. As digital citizens, we can all do more to make our online spaces safer and help those experiencing online abuse. We can do this by being Online Active Bystanders, both as individuals and organisations.
We can all take steps to reduce online abuse and its impact.
→ READ our full guide
→ WATCH how to Spot, Report & Support
→ LEARN about why a little means a lot when it comes to being an active bystander
→ SHARE with your friends, colleagues and networks.
Documenting Online Abuse
1,800,000 people suffered threatening behaviour online in the past year. Our Ripple Effect Report showed that this is worse for women and significantly worse for women of colour, and that this has sadly increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. We recommend taking screenshots of the abuse and filing them in a folder, logging the incident in a simple table with the date, time and site – and most importantly the impact it has had. It is important to document how it makes you feel to prove the incident caused anxiety, intimidation, or fear of greater harm. We’ve created this form, and this resource to support you to complete it, so that you can more easily document and report online abuse.
Dealing with Digital Threats to Democracy
Amnesty International UK found that Black and Asian women MPs receive about 35% more abuse than other groups of MPs. Elsewhere, Dr Sofia Collignon, Assistant Professor in Political Communication at Royal Holloway, University of London, has shown that women and young political candidates are more likely to suffer from harassment, which can stop MPs from standing for re-election. When essential voices are silenced in this way, we believe online abuse becomes a threat to democracy. This resource equips women in public life with the skills and knowledge they need to be safer online – produced in partnership with Dr Collignon and the The Gender Institute at Royal Holloway.
We created this free Toolkit to help end online gender-based violence – especially against Black women, who are 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets. It contains a series of questions and prompts that make it easy to host conversations for your network e.g. friends, family, colleagues or activist groups. If you’re hoping to become a better ally to Black women online, feel free to use this resource too. Thanks to the team at Minas Programam for creating a Portuguese version of the Toolkit, which you can view here.
This is our original Toolkit, which we created as a free resource for anyone that wants to end online abuse but has no idea where to begin. Produced in partnership with experts, it can be used to spread awareness of, and spark a dialogue about, online gender-based violence. Each kit contains printed cards and badges, and includes four short rounds of questions that’ll take roughly one hour to cover in a group conversation. You could host one of these chats at school, at work, or with members of any other organisation you’re involved in. Our hope is that those who join the discussion will leave feeling more informed about online abuse and its disproportionate impact on women and girls. Download a free printable version of our Toolkit here.
Stay Safe While Working Remotely
Our 2020 report, ‘The Ripple Effect‘, looked at the impact of COVID-19 on online abuse. This two-page follow-up resource includes top tips for staying safe online whilst working from home, containing useful ideas for both individuals and large organisations. If you’d like a free copy, please drop us an email.