Monthly Archives: May 2015

Revenge Pornography, The Right to be Forgotten and Google – Part 2

Google has received 729 requests to have URL’s removed from the search engine which link to the revenge pornography Website I am studying between 3rd April 2013 and 25th February 2015 , this data can be viewed using a very handy transparency report provided by Google.  Very few of these requests resulted in links to the Website being removed from Google as detailed in the report.

The data I collected shows that 126 out of 396 posts were received within 28 days of a post going live.  Posts were removed from the Website at different times within the 672 hours that they were monitored for.  In the dataset I collected, the variable “hours” is used to describe the number of hours a removed post remains live for.  Henceforth, “hours” will be used as the variable name when describing the data and what it reveals. The hours range from 1 to 594, with a median of 49.  The median is the best measure of central tendency in this instance as the data is not normally distributed and will not be influenced by outliers.  By calculating a confidence interval around the sample’s median of hours the true median in the population of removed posts from will be known.  As the data is not normally distributed, bootstrapping is performed in order to allow for confidence levels to be calculated.  The number of samples for the bootstrap was set at 1000 with a 95% CI (confidence interval).  We can be 95% confident that the true median of the numbers of hours a removed post stays live for is between 40 and 68 hours.  This means that on average, once a post is identified as having a legal reason to be removed from the Website, it takes on average between 40 and 68 hours.

When comparing the data provided by Google’s transparency report with the data collected directly, it seems as if those who are posted to revenge pornography Website should go direct to the site in order to get material taken down.  Nonetheless, without being able to compare the actual requests that the revenge pornography Website receives with those received by Google, the data is incomparable.  The revenge pornography Website categorises removal requests and the data relating to how successful the number of requests for removal in each category is unavailable.  A comparison between the type of requests Google and the Website is not possible, although significantly more posts are removed direct from the Website than links deleted from Google.

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Revenge Pornography and Qualitative Methods.

For this stage of my PhD I have gone as far as I can with the statistical analysis that I have been doing.  I am now concentrating on the qualitative research aspect of my PhD.

The piece of work I am currently working on for my PhD is my upgrade.  A PhD is not simply sitting down for a number of years and reading and writing stuff.  There are a number of targets that need to be met along the way, one of which is the PhD upgrade process.  It involves producing a kind of mini thesis and facing an examiner.

I have submitted to my supervisors a rough plan detailing how I think my upgrade document will progress over the next few months.  It will involved some of the data analysis I have already done, plus the qualitative methods that I am currently working on.

I have identified three posts to the revenge pornography website during my data collection and I have identified various themes within the three posts.  These are;

  • Power – expectation by the uploader of a loss of power on behalf of the woman when exposed on the site.
  • Sexual activity of women identified as wrong – words like slut, whore, skank and prostitute used to describe the women.
  • ex partners – all of the three posts were posted by an ex partner.
  • revenge – act of revenge on behalf of the uploader.
  • Women as emotionless and using sex for material gain.

The comments made to the posts are also being analysed and so far have also identified numerous themes.  The most prevalent of these being commentary on the woman’s appearance, something which I will discuss more in my next blog post.