Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-30-2022

Keywords

digital media, technology-facilitated abuse, intimate partner violence, Facebook, platform governance

Abstract

This paper contributes to feminist conversations about algorithms and design justice by examining ways Facebook’s (Meta) Memories affordance, when it draws on previously posted photographs of abusive former partners, is problematic for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors. With analyses drawn from semi-structured interviews with twelve “survivor-users” and a walkthrough of Memories’ settings to better understand what opportunities users have to control this function, this paper finds that Memories triggers survivors, makes their abuser seem inescapable and reduces survivors’ sense of agency, among other challenges to their well-being. By extending abusers’ intimidation back into survivors’ lives, Memories unintentionally supports perpetrators’ aims: to scare, isolate and punish their targets. This paper concludes that a masculinist bias within Memories’ design leads to painful consequences for survivor-users of varying identities. Ultimately, this study proposes possible means of addressing Memories’ challenges for survivor-users, including the option for users to opt in to, rather than out of, the function in the first place; alterations to Memories’ interface to enable the immediate flagging of problematic content; and continued movements towards trauma-informed design practices in the technology sector.

Faculty

Faculty of Applied Science & Technology (FAST)

Program

Digital Humanities

Journal

Feminist Media Studies

Volume

23

Issue

8

First Page

3901

Last Page

3923

Version

Pre-print

Terms of Use

Terms of Use for Works posted in SOURCE.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Little, N. (2023). Social media “ghosts”: how Facebook (Meta) Memories complicates healing for survivors of intimate partner violence. Feminist Media Studies, 23 (8), 3901-3923. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2022.2149593

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