ESR Name: Yuying Tan

Institution: University of Antwerp

Supervisor(s): Prof. H. Vandebosch, Prof. K. Poels, Prof. S. Pabian

Project Title: Helping victims of online sexual harassment through online reporting and supporting systems.

Project Synopsis: UN Human Rights Council voted several resolutions regarding the “Promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet”, some address the hate speech online against women. They condemn unequivocally online attacks against women, including sexual and gender-based violence and abuse of women, in particular where women journalists, media workers, public officials, or others engaging in public debate are targeted for their expression. Indeed, Information and communication technology (ICT) on the one hand have facilitated those new forms of sexual harassment. On the other hand, it also provides new opportunities to empower victims, such as privacy-preserving systems to prevent victims’ exposure to risks on social media platforms; chatbots to provide instant advice and resources from experts and activists. In this study, we will first conduct a systematic review on ICT interventions for online sexual harassment and then design a tool to assist victims in coping with online sexual harassment, or to encourage bystanders to react and provide help. We will co-design with (in)direct users, stakeholders in companies, and human rights researcher throughout the co-design process to help ensure the result meets the needs of all parties and is usable.

ESR Biography: Yuying Tan is a PhD candidate at the Media & ICT in Organizations and Society (MIOS) research group at the University of Antwerp. Through years of work in the internet industry, she learned the process of product design, prototyping, testing, and digital marketing. She believes that a good design should not only attract, entertain and retain users but should also benefit users’ well-being. Yuying’s research areas include ICT and human behaviour, machine learning, social media, and interactive design. She is especially interested in emotional influence in human decision-making and its potential application in AI systems. She obtained a master’s degree in Cognitive System and Interactive Media at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain; master thesis titled ‘Analysis of Body Pose for Autism Child in Mixed-Reality Full-Body Interaction System’. Before she shifted her career to media and communication, she held a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Design Manufacture and Automation at Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China, followed by 2 years of work as a technical support engineer in EPSON.