Open Studio 4: Gender-based Digital Violence and Digital Activism

Open studio #4, Cycle #2

The fourth Open Studio of the second cycle was held on 6 and 7 April 2022 and was titled ‘Better is Possible: Gender-based Digital Violence and Digital Activism’. It brought together participants from the RESISTIRÉ consortium itself as well as experts, activists, and creative people from outside of the project.

Gender-based digital violence (cyberbullying, hate speech, stalking, hacking digital profiles and/or physical appliances, …) recreates and increases pre-existing intersections of inequalities. Victims from vulnerable groups, therefore, are more likely to face online violence. Furthermore, online violence is used as an instrument to deter women and people from the LGBTQI+ community from taking up power within their work or activism (activists, politicians, journalists, academics, …). As such, the most harmed groups include (but are not limited to): women of colour, women from ethnic minority groups, young girls and women, people from the LGBTQI+ community, women and LGBTQI+ journalists, politicians and activists.
The consequences include serious negative mental health impacts, economic impacts, impacts on personal relationships, as well as a loss of public participation and disempowerment.

The main questions that this OS tried to answer include the following:

  • How can institutions such as the workplace or educational institutions help against digital violence, especially given the increased digitalisation brought about by the pandemic?
  • How can we push social media platforms to be more proactive on addressing violence and hate speech, without increasing online surveillance and censorship?
  • How would a gender+ intersectional lens contribute to the design of effective policies and actions against digital GBV, and which policies on the local/national/EU level can we think of?
  • What tools do we have, or can be developed, to prevent perpetrators from enacting (continuous) digital violence?
  • How do we create more awareness around digital violence, move away from victim-blaming and design transformative frameworks of action?
  • How can we create mechanisms to support survivors (especially those who speak out publicly) and create webs of safety around them?
  • How can we make the collecting of evidence, the reporting and the prosecution of perpetrators easier, more accessible and effective?
  • Which online forms of activism that emerged during the pandemic can help us counter digital violence?
  • When should we combine physical and digital activism?
  • How do we support feminist and LGBTQI+ activists, journalists and politicians who frequently become targets of digital violence so that they can safely continue their work?
  • What role has the #MeToo movement played in the struggle against digital violence?
  • What different forms has the #MeToo movement taken – particularly in response to digital GBV?


Input from the Open Studios will feed the development of concrete solutions:

    • Policy recommendations
    • New research agendas
    • Pilot actions to demonstrate the potential impact of the solutions suggested.

The operational recommendations produced in Cycle 2 will be available in July 2022. Register here to stay informed!