Fighting online harassment with good design

How design can help mitigate harassment on social networks.
Interaction Designer and artist Caroline Sinders. (Alannah Farrell)

We know that harassment is a big problem online. In social media spaces, people face insults, threats, doxxing, and swatting. Women, in particular, face violent, gendered threats; often, it seems, for being activists, feminists, or even just having a strong opinion. You could argue the problem is the result of online anonymity, or a lack of personal morality.

Or you could argue that it's a problem of design.

Caroline Sinders is an interaction designer who studies digital culture. She recently gave a talk called Design for Consent. Caroline finds our online spaces lacking, compared to the fine-grained control we have in physical space.

Caroline tells us about her own experiences with online harassment, and explains how to redesign today's social media to improve privacy and help combat harassment.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.