#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | bodyright – Own your body online | Bodily Integrity


What is bodyright?

bodyright is the first ‘copyright’ mark to assert and demand protection from digital violence. The core of this online and social media campaign from UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, is the bodyright symbol.

This symbol can be added to any image of a human body directly on social media or any other digital content-sharing platform. The aim is to drive tech companies and policymakers to take the violation of human rights and protecting bodily autonomy online as seriously as they take copyright infringement.

Bodyright is a social movement that asks us all to take gender-based online violence seriously. We all need to understand our role in it and work together to drive real change and online protections for every girl, woman and young person, everywhere.

Why do we need bodyright?

Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and bodily automony. It is a pressing global public health issue. Gender-based violence is rooted in misogyny, and it is increasing online. Digital violence is typically highly sexualized and takes many forms including cyberharassment, hate speech, doxxing and non-consensual use of images and video, such as deepfakes.

Images are being used and abused online. People are targeted with slurs, including references to rape, based on gender, race, LGBTQ+ status, body type and other identifiers and their images are subjected to demeaning non-consensual sexual acts. Globally, 85% of women reported witnessing digital violence, and nearly 40% have experienced it personally*.

Women, girls, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities are the most likely to have their images abused online. It causes long-term psychological, emotional and physical distress. Yet, digital violence is not taken seriously by tech companies and policymakers who seem to be looking the other way.

*Source: all data referenced is taken from Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020: Study only surveyed 18+

How can I get involved and support bodyright?

  • Add the bodyright symbol to an image of yourself and post with the #bodyright hashtag.
  • Post campaign content or images we provide.
  • Share a link to the campaign video and/or other assets including this website.
  • Talk about the issue online and offline.
  • Sign the UNFPA + Global Citizen petition and encourage your followers to do the same.

What is the bodyright petition?

As part of the bodyright campaign, UNFPA has launched a petition, hosted by Global Citizen, demanding tangible action to put a stop to digital violence and abuse. We are asking people to sign it and demand that policymakers, companies and digital platforms take online abuse as seriously as they do copyright infringements.

What is digital violence?

Digital violence is typically highly sexualized and takes many forms including cyberbullying, cyberflashing, doxxing, hate speech and non-consensual use of images and video, such as deepfakes. People are targeted with slurs, including references to rape, based on gender, race, LGBTQ+ status, body type and other identifiers and their images are subjected to demeaning non-consensual sexual acts.

Globally, 85% of women reported witnessing digital violence, and nearly 40% have experienced it personally*.

*Source: all data referenced is taken from Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020: Study only surveyed 18+

Why is online abuse a problem?

This misogynist hate and devaluation of women online causes long-term psychological, emotional and physical distress. Nine out of ten women (92%) report online violence harms their sense of well-being and over a third (35%) have experienced mental health issues due to online violence. It also inhibits authentic self-expression and adversely impacts professional and economic livelihoods of people who depend on online and social media spaces.

What is bodily autonomy?

Bodily autonomy is the right of every individual to choose what they do with their bodies and to live free of fear and violence. This principle should apply both online and offline.

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence is harmful and damaging acts directed against individuals or groups based on their gender. It is often violence against women and girls and includes everything from sexual violence in the real world to online sexual harassment, cyberbullying, doxxing and malicious manipulation of images, such as deepfakes.

Why doesn’t the law protect me against online abuse and digital violence?

Laws in this area have not kept pace with the technology and they need to catch up fast. In 64 of 86 countries, law enforcement agencies and courts appear to be failing to take appropriate corrective actions to address online violence against women.

Even where countries do have legal remedies, they are often not consistent across states, districts or provinces. This must change. Seeking justice should not have to be another traumatizing experience. We must push for a world where everyone is protected from online abuse by consistent and effective legal measures.

What can policymakers do to help combat digital violence?

Governments need to step up. Laws in this area have not kept pace with the technology and they need to catch up fast. Even where countries do have legal remedies, they are often not consistent across states, districts or provinces.

The non-consensual use, misuse or abuse of people’s images should be criminalized and tech companies and social media platforms should be legally obligated to put effective moderation and reporting systems in place.

What can tech companies do to help combat digital violence?

Tech companies need to step up. Digital and social media platforms, online forums and content sites should take the abuse of human bodies at least as seriously as copyright infringements.

They should actively moderate content and immediately remove harmful and abusive images without requiring legal processes. They should make reporting easy and allow people to better control who can see, share and comment on their content.

Tech companies need to create innovative solutions to prevent digital violence and improve online safety. Tech companies must be more responsive to victims seeking help in taking down posts that violate their rights and privacy and address perpetrators appropriately.



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