Cape Town - The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC) has presented research to show how social media can be used to tackle the issue of gender-based violence (GBV).
The non-profit company hosted a webinar where experts delved into their strategy of using social media listening tools to explore the perpetuation of harmful gender attitudes and GBV on public social media in the country.
The research falls under the banner of the CABC’s “HeCareZA” project, focusing on men’s attitudes towards GBV and violence against women.
Dialogue facilitator Geoffrey Mamputa said: “Our approach is based on the belief that men hurt women because they are hurt. (They) certainly hurt people, hurt other people, because they don’t know how to express themselves in any other way.
“It is much more difficult for men to express their feelings, especially in the company of other men, because of the way we’ve been socialised,” he said.
Using advanced social media analytics, researchers used the steps of discovery, collection, preparation and analysis to uncover their findings.
From their research, it showed that a total of 3.2 million mentions of GBV were recorded with more than 320 000 unique social media users from May to June this year.
Delving into these mentions, they were able to deduce the highest number of mentions related to Father’s Day and fatherhood at over 56 000 in June.
Their research came up with four main themes: fatherhood, GBV, hate speech and gendered assumptions, and lobola.
Dialogue facility manager JennaLee Strugnell said the research was being used to tackle the issue by trying to change the narrative online.
“This research allows us to develop data-driven interventions with unique insights … Through these tools, we are helping to share useful resources with people so that we can help shape the narrative in a constructive way,” Strugnell said.
Dialogue facilitator Aviwe Konde said: “How we use this research to support our dialogue facilitation, methodology and approach is to create a key word list and build a query using our research analytic tools. We then publish preliminary findings and have conducted an exploratory dialogue facilitation.”
The CABC identifies online influencers and then engages them by providing training in order to shape the narrative online.