Media Convergency through its Women at Web project conducted a study that was later published as a report titled “The state of online gender-based violence in Tanzania.” Acknowledging the potential of social media to contribute to online gender-based violence is a crucial step towards reducing its incidence and improving digital safety for all. It is essential to understand the localization and utilization of the social media platform in Tanzania, with a particular emphasis on sextortion and non-consensual images and their impact on individuals and communities.
Why the report
The study found that the use of social media has a significant impact on shaping our online experiences, and it’s imperative to comprehend how user behavior affects different groups and individual users. This understanding can help us create a safer, more inclusive digital space and minimize the occurrence of online gender-based violence. The aim of this study is to gather empirical data on the occurrence of gender-based violence through social media platforms, specifically Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram. The objective is to perform a thorough analysis of these platforms in order to better understand the extent and nature of gender-based violence in the online space in Tanzania.
This study provides valuable insights into the issue of OGBV against celebrities, politicians, activists, public figures, social media influencers, and individuals in the digital media industry. Its findings highlight the need for action to address this growing problem and to ensure that online citizens are protected from online abuse. The study’s recommendations can serve as a starting point for policymakers, technology companies, and civil society organizations working to prevent and address OGBV in the online world
- Data was analyzed from 650 accounts with over 15,000 comments, across 4 major Social media platforms which are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Telegram. Findings are in categories of abuse to Politicians, Celebrities, Activists, Public Figures, Social Media Influencers & Cyber Harassers
- In the celebrity category, the study shows that Instagram is the leading platform for celebrities to experience Online Gender Based Violence compared to Twitter and Facebook.
- The findings show that, Politicians are subjected to OGBV on all 3 social media platforms varying in its extent. Twitter being the leading platform with almost 20% experiencing extreme cyberbullying.
- The findings show that, Politicians are subjected to Online Gender Based Violence on all 3 social media platforms varying in its extent. Twitter being the leading platform with almost 20% experiencing extreme cyberbullying.
- Activists: Over 2750 posts show Facebook as the leading platform for mid-level attacks of Online Gender Based Violence, while activists on Twitter have a minimal number of Online Gender Based Violence making Instagram emerge as the safest platform for activists to thrive.
- Across 3 major platforms; Twitter, Facebook and Instagram among the 5 categories listed women are leading with low Gender presentations. Female Politicians have the least presentation with 24% on Twitter, 17% on Facebook & 17% on Instagram
- 90 public figures and over 2,250 of their comments were examined to determine the extent of OGBV, the findings show that Twitter is the leading platform with the lowest incidence of OGBV for Public Figures compared to Facebook and Instagram.
- Thirty Telegram groups were analyzed, and they were found to be the primary source of OGBV videos. The analysis of Telegram sample data revealed that doxing and cyberstalking are the most common forms of OGBV found in the group
What needs to be done based on the challenges that exists
Online Gender Based Violence is a pervasive problem in Tanzania and has significant negative impacts on victims, including emotional distress, social isolation, economic harm, and physical harm. While there are efforts being made to address this issue by various actors and organizations, the scope of work still needs to be expanded to reach all citizens who have access to the internet. There is a need for increased collaboration between government agencies, NGOs, donors, and other stakeholders to address this problem effectively. It is evident that all stakeholders need to contribute their efforts to the eradication of OGBV in Tanzania.
What we hope the report to achieve
Through the report, Women at Web Tanzania powered by Media Convergency hopes to leverage on strengthening expertise of other stakeholder so as to create a more comprehensive and sustainable approach to addressing Online Gender Based Violence through reach and effectiveness. While there are efforts being made to address Online Gender based Violence the scope of work still needs to be expanded to reach all netizens. There is a need for increased collaboration between government agencies, NGOs, donors, and other stakeholders to address this problem effectively.