Center for Media at Risk Symposium: Image-Based Abuse

Speaker(s): Center for Media at Risk

Image-Based Abuse: Prevalence, Resistance, Prevention

Registration is required to attend this event.


About the Event

Abstract graphic of a red hand stopping a black fist with the words Image-Based Abuse: Prevalence, Resistance, Prevention as well as the event details

Image-based abuse is a public health crisis that silences marginalized groups and degrades public discourse. Ranging across the COVID-19 pandemic, political campaigns and social network reform, image-based abuse finds its way into nearly every pressing public issue today. This symposium will identify patterning in its occurrence, strategize research agendas for its clarification and develop policy recommendations and best practices for its resistance and prevention. Organized by the Center for Media at Risk at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication in partnership with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, it will take place on Friday, December 3, 2021, with a keynote event occurring the evening of Thursday, December 2. Its objective is to provide a space for researchers, policymakers and victim-activists from different geographical contexts to meet, share findings and develop collaborative agendas. The symposium will also include a digital self-care workshop that will provide tailored advice for safely researching digital abuse.

Symposium Schedule

Please note all times listed are Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Thursday, December 2

5:00pm – 6:00pm
Keynote: What Is Image-Based Abuse and Why Does It Matter?   

Mary Anne Franks
President of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and Professor of Law and Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at University of Miami, USA

Friday, December 3


John L. Jackson, Jr.  
Walter H. Annenberg Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, USA

Barbie Zelizer 
Center for Media at Risk Director and Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, USA

10:15am – 11:30am
Panel One: Prevalence 

This panel reviews patterns of digital abuse perpetration across demographic groups and addresses the exponential rise of abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together experts on identity-based harassment, privacy and free speech.

Henry Ajder 
Advisor and Researcher on deepfakes and synthetic media, UK

Amy A. Hasinoff
Associate Professor of Communication, University of Colorado, Denver, USA

Clare McGlynn
Professor of Law, Durham University, UK 

Mikiba W. Morehead   
Consultant with TNG and Cyber Sexual Abuse Researcher, USA

Moderator: Julia Ticona 
Assistant Professor of Communication, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, USA

11:30am – 12:45pm
Panel Two: Resistance 

This panel explores the victim-led movements that have developed around the world to resist the rise of digital abuse. Bringing together activists across continents, this panel focuses on specific tools and strategies for resisting digital abuse.

Seyi Akiwowo 
CEO and Founder, Glitch, UK

Jinsook Kim  
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, USA 

Paz Peña 
Founder of Acoso Online, Latin America

Annie Schmutz Seifullah
Survivor Attorney, C.A. Goldberg, USA
Moderator: Guobin Yang 
Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication and Department of Sociology, USA

12:45pm – 1:45pm
Lunch & Interactive Workshop: Online Safety and Digital Self Care 

For scholars and researchers, this interactive workshop will provide space for attendees to develop personalized strategies that protect their own and their research participants’ safety online. Attendees’ questions will be submitted during the morning sessions.

Katelyn Bowden
Image-Based Abuse Activist, USA

Sophie Maddocks
Doctoral Student at the Annenberg School for Communication and Research Fellow at the Center for Media at Risk, USA

1:45pm – 3:00pm 
Panel Three: Prevention

This panel connects an international group of researchers and policy experts to facilitate strategizing on digital abuse. Drawing from best practices developed in the Australian context, panelists will discuss policy interventions and social network reforms that can both protect privacy and promote speech. 

Richard Aborisade 
Associate Professor of Criminology and Victimology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Nighat Dad
Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan

Asher Flynn 
Associate Professor of Criminology, Monash University, Australia

Charley Johnson 
Program Director, Disinformation Action Lab, Data & Society, USA 

Moderator: Sarah Banet-Weiser 
Distinguished Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication; Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Director, Annenberg Center for Collaborative Communication

3:00 – 3:45pm
Closing Conversation

This closing conversation will synthesize key findings from each panel and outline potential next steps for tech companies seeking to challenge digital abuse.  

Asia Eaton 
Research Director for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and Associate Professor of Psychology, Florida International University, USA

Karuna Nain
Director, Global Safety Policy, Meta

Symposium Interlocutor

Luisa Ortiz Pérez 
Executive Director and Founder, Vita-Activa, Latin America and USA

Symposium Organizers

Sophie Maddocks
Doctoral Student, Annenberg School for Communication

Barbie Zelizer
Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, Associate Dean for Research, Director, Center for Media at Risk

in partnership with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative 
Non-profit organization offering support to victims of cybercrimes

Event details