On 13 July 2016 I spoke at Social Media and Student Accommodation, a one day workshop focussing on how and when to use social media as an aid to promoting and providing successful student accommodation. This was organised by the student housing charity Unipol.
- My slides are available as a low-res PDF;
- The references talked about in the presentation are also available [PDF].
What happens when it all goes wrong?
Cyberbullying, harassment, abuse and inappropriate content
Why is ‘cyber’ redacted? It is a distraction. We’re talking about harassment; social media and online channels are just one of the locations or platforms on which harassment and worse takes place. My presentation then goes on to talk about:
How online harassment occurs?
- Hacked account
- Recommendations for every user of social media (including students)
- Outreach and Public Engagement (and is the University doing enough to support staff, academics, and students – especially early career academics, or students?)
- Harassment and sexual violence
The institutional response
- Change of culture at the University
- Policy and Processes, about the Oxford University Policy and Procedure on Harassment
Student-led campaigns in Oxford e.g.:
- Sexual consent discussions led by students
- Oxford University Students Union’s ‘It Happens Here‘
- ‘Good Lad workshops‘
- An online campaign called #consentiseverything shows that support is available for those who have experienced sexual abuse and rape, including: Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre; Thames Valley Police; and Oxford University Students Union. They use a YouTube film about a cup of tea as a way of explaining consent! This even made it on to TV as a feature in a positive light on ‘Russell Howard’s Good News’.
- The Digital Wildfire project supporting computing students’ work on identifying and monitoring provocative social media content e.g. rumour or inflammatory posts; Competitions for students to raise awareness of a digital life, and the implications of oversharing etc.
- ‘First Response‘ app, coded by women in Oxford: First Response can be localised by updating the app with region-specific information, or by doing the whole process with Code4Rights (i.e. brainstorming, teaching women to code, producing a new app).
Oxford University campaigns include:
- Podcasts e.g. ‘Sexual Violence – the spectrum of support‘.
- Online guidance to support those first responders (support staff and students) who may or have received a disclosure of sexual violence, available from web pages of: local harassment advisors run by the Equality and Diversity Unit; Counselling Service; Oxford University Students Union; Information Security; and on the gateway for students there are pages about sexual violence, and social media.
- Face-to-face training: harassment and abuse awareness for college staff provided by the Counselling Service and Oxford City Council’s Domestic and Sexual Abuse Coordinator; and online videos: Lynda playlists e.g. Assertiveness, Difficult Conversations.
- Flowcharts to make it easier for first responders to understand when contacted by a student or member of staff what are the options e.g.:
- Please don’t contact me (cease and desist).
- If that does not resolve it – someone with a level of authority in the college of the perpetrator takes action, maybe following the line that the behaviour is covered under such-and-such section of the policy.
- The anti-harassment order against individual from the police.
- Equality and Diversity Unit: Caroline Kennedy
- First Response app: Eden Tanner
- IT Services: Ylva Berglund Prytz, IT Services IT Innovation Fund; Jane Littlehales, IT Services Communications Office; Sergio Navarro Valverde, OxCERT
- Oxford Internet Institute: Sarah Wilkin
- UCISA: Anna Matthews, UCISA
- University of York: Sara Perry, The Gender and Digital Culture project,
- University of Sussex: Alison Phipps and Elsie Whittington Centre for Gender Studies ‘Sexual harassment and violence in higher education‘
- From Flickr member abby chicken ‘spectrum boats – punts lined up near Magdalen Bridge, Oxford’ licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0