Online sexual harassment over anonymous social media in Bangladesh


ICTD '19: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development.

Prior research on anonymous social media (ASM) has studied the issue of sexual harassment and has revealed its connections to stereotyping, aggression, interpersonal relationships, and mental health among others [16, 24, 60]. However, the characteristics of such harassment in the context of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the global south has not received enough attention in the literature. This paper presents our findings on the use of ASM in Bangladesh based on an anonymous online survey of (n= 291) participants and semi-structured interviews with (n= 27) participants. Our study shows a wide prevalence of sexual harassment on anonymous social networks in Bangladesh, the relationship between a closely-knitted communal culture and anonymous harassment, and the lack of infrastructural support for the victims. We also propose a set of design and policy recommendations for such anonymous social media to extend the current ICTD literature on ensuring a safer online environment for women, especially in an LMIC.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date