“iPhone 5S” by Janitors is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Image-based abuse has skyrocketed on social media platforms after the pandemic, leaving victims with lifelong impacts on their privacy, safety, as well as their future. Image-based abuse is when an intimate video or image (typically sexually explicit content) is shared without the creator’s consent. Unfortunately, this type of abuse is typically employed by perpetrators to harass, objectify, blackmail, coerce and threaten their victims. In 2020, reports of image-based abuse to eSafety increased by 172% in a period of six months (i.e. March to September) when compared to the same period the year prior (Chung, 2020).
Noelle Martin was 18 years old when she encountered a selfie she had posted on the internet a year ago – edited onto pornographic images and videos. This content had additionally been distributed across porn websites as well as social media. Representatives from the eSafety Commission have stated that as technology continues to evolve, this type of abuse may become more and more common in future years.
Therefore, digital platforms and national governments must collaborate with key stakeholders to stop the circulation of dangerous and explicit content on social media platforms.