The ideal of an inclusive and participatory Internet has been undermined by the rise of misogynistic abuse on social media platforms. However, limited progress has been made at national – and to an extent European – levels in addressing this issue. In England and Wales, the tackling of underlying causes of online abuse has been overlooked because the law focuses on punishment rather than measures to prevent such abuses. Furthermore, online abuse has a significant impact on its victims that is underestimated by policymakers. This volume critically analyses the legal provisions that are currently deployed to tackle forms of online misogyny, and focuses on three aspects; firstly, the phenomenon of social media abuse; secondly, the poor and disparate legal responses to social media abuses; and thirdly, the similar failings of hate crime to tackle problems of online gender-based abuses. This book advances a compelling argument for legal changes to the existing hate crime, and communications legislation.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Online Misogyny: Law and the Digital Feminist
- Introduction – Why this book and why now
- What this book is (not) about
- Addressing online misogyny through law: the limitations
- Platform Regulation
- Feminism, law and the fight against (online) misogyny
- The rise of the digital feminist
Chapter 2 – [Online] Misogyny: Old Problems, New Media?
2.1. Introduction – An open, participatory ideal?
2.2. Social Media Abuse as a Modern Phenomenon
2.3. From Offline to Online: the digital misogyny ‘switch’
2.3.1. The Normalisation of Online Abuse
2.3.2. Political Campaigning & The ‘Techlash’
2.3.3. Intersectional Abuse – Still Misogyny, Still a Techlash?
Chapter 3 – Online Communications: The Legal Landscape
3.1. Introduction – Comprehension, Competence, and Cohesion?
3.2. The Limitation Paradox
3.2.1. The Devolution Settlement
3.2.2. The European Union Remit
3.2.3. Limitations – Competence v Cohesion?
3.3. Legal Challenges of Online Communications – Where Does the Problem Lie?
Part I – Threats & Threats to Kill
3.4. Threats & Threats to Kill
Part II – Stalking & Harassment
Part III – Communications
3.7. Communications Networks
Chapter 4 – Hate Crime: The Limits of the Law
4.2. Hate crime: development and classifications
4.2.1. Defining hate crime
4.2.2. Hate crime v Hate speech
4.2.3. Hate speech and human rights
4.2.4. Hate crime: the current legal framework in England & Wales
4.2.5. Who is protected against hate crime?
4.3. Extending the boundaries of hate crime: hate (re)defined
4.3.1. Why the need to include gender in hate crime laws
4.3.2. Gender as a protected characteristic: towards law reform
4.4. Online hate (crimes)
4.4.1. Does online make it different?
4.5. Online misogyny as a hate crime
Chapter 5 - #OVAW, The Internet & Hate: Unfinished (Legal) Business
5.1. The realities of everyday, gender-based hate
5.2. Online misogyny: not a legislative priority
5.3. Implications for legal response and regulation
5.4. Final Thought