CYBERBULLYING, CREEPSHOTS, AND REVENGE PORN: THREE CASE STUDIES IN AUGMENTED SUBJECTIVITY

PJ Rey, Erin Boesel

Abstract


As danah boyd (2007), Nathan Fisk (2012), and David A. Banks (2013b) have argued, “cyberbullying” is an over-hyped term; moreover, it has little relevance to the people most likely to experience cyberbullying (Marwick and boyd 2011). At the same time, for all the hype and hysteria, we do not take digitally mediated harassment and abuse seriously in the ways that matter most. Justice department and law enforcement officials, for instance, have little by way of capacity or ability to address online harassment (whether by ex-lovers, anonymous strangers, or between teens)—and that’s when they can be persuaded that an incident is worth addressing at all. Why is it that we paradoxically seem to give digitally mediated abuse too much attention, and yet also fail so profoundly to take it seriously?

We argue that this contradiction results from conflict between ideology and practical knowledge (or what the ancient Greeks called doxa and praxis). While the negative consequences for victims of cyberbullying, creepshots, and revenge porn are often clear, we have difficulty acknowledging and addressing these issues because our culturally inherited framework for understanding them, and even our language for describing them, is encoded with assumptions that our experiences with or through digital technologies are separate and distinct from the rest of our lives.


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