Without the social media, I would not have had the voice I have today

November 19 2014

Seasoned female online debaters claim that one must be thick-skinned and endure unpleasantness if one wants to take part in debates on the social media. Over time, some women become more reticent about utterances they know can be provocative, according to a recent report that is part of the project ‘Status of Freedom of Expression in Norway’.

Sociologist Hedda Espeli has examined the possibilities for women to express themselves in the digital public space in Norway. For some women, online smears are such a burden that they end up choosing debate fora that they experience as safe and unbiased. Thus they become less visible in the more open fora, e.g. in the comments fields of online newspapers.

Espeli’s study complements and supplements earlier studies on the relationship between gender and participation in the public space. The report provides insight into the opportunities women who express opinions have in the digital public space in Norway.

The report is part of the project The Status of Freedom of Expression in Norway – the Fritt Ord Foundation’s monitoring project.

Download Women's opinions in the culture of the digital public space (pdf) (In Norwegian)