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Record ID: 2a36ab0a-3df2-45f7-a48c-b9024006a12e
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Type: Conference Paper
Title: "So-called privacy breeds evil": Narrative Justifications for Intimate Partner Surveillance in Online Forums
Authors: McDonald, Nora
Bellini, Rosanna
Tseng, Emily
Greenstadt, Rachel
Dell, Nicola
Ristenpart, Thomas
McCoy, Damon
Year: 9999
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery

A growing body of research suggests that intimate partner abusers use digital technologies to surveil theirpartners, including by installing spyware apps, compromising devices and online accounts, and employing social engineering tactics. However, to date, this form of privacy violation, called intimate partner surveillance (IPS), has primarily been studied from the perspective of victim-survivors. We present a qualitative study ofhow potential perpetrators of IPS harness the emotive power of sharing personal narratives to validate and legitimise their abusive behaviours. We analysed 556 stories of IPS posted on publicly accessible online forums dedicated to the discussion of sexual infidelity. We found that many users share narrative posts describing IPS as they boast about their actions, advise others on how to perform IPS without detection, and seek suggestions for next steps to take. We identify a set of common thematic story structures, justifications for abuse, and outcomes within the stories that provide a window into how these individuals believe their behaviour tobe justified. Using these stories, we develop a four-stage framework that captures the change in a potential perpetrator’s approach to IPS. We use our findings and framework to guide a discussion of efforts to combat abuse, including how we can identify crucial moments where interventions might be safely applied to preventor deescalate IPS.

Appears in Collections:ANROWS Notepad 2020
Conference Papers

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