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SMS Alum Sophie Maddocks Publishes Master’s Thesis in the Journal of Australian Feminist Studies

Sophie Maddocks, Media Studies Alum ’18, published her master’s thesis in the Journal of Australian Feminist Studies. Her piece is titled ” From Non-consensual Pornography to Image-based Sexual Abuse: Charting the Course of a Problem with Many Names.” 

Article abstract: Every day, people’s most intimate moments are recorded, uploaded and circulated online without their consent. This gross invasion of privacy – commonly known as ‘revenge pornography’ – has become part of the scenery in cyberspace. But the name ‘revenge pornography’ fails to communicate the scope and severity of this harm. It is a victim blaming term that risks misdirecting government policy and misinforming the public. So, in order to mobilise against ‘revenge porn’, activists have begun renaming it. ‘Non-consensual pornography’, ‘image-based sexual abuse’, and ‘digital rape’ are just a few of their new coinages. This research seeks to understand how ‘revenge pornography’ is being renamed and reframed in different contexts. To do so, it draws on interviews with thirty activists, experts, and scholars from twelve countries and seven professions. The article begins by comparing their alternative terminologies, bringing to light points of similarity and difference. It then looks forward, identifying new developments in activists’ thought and action. Despite their different vocabularies, this research finds among respondents a shared understanding upon which they could build an enduring coalition.

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