Raquel Carvalho

Sep 10, 2021

Porn, Privacy and Pain: The Rise of Image-based Abuse in Asia

A Conversation with Raquel Carvalho

New Books Network 2021

What is image-based abuse? Why has it been on the rise in Asia, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic? What has been done to tackle the issue? Raquel Carvalho, Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post, shares the story of how a group of journalists across some Asian newsrooms collaborated in a months-long investigation and uncover the stories inside the online groups spreading stolen sexual images of women and children, how the victims are struggling to have such content removed from online platforms, and how sextortion syndicates in Asia and Africa are raking in millions from targets around the world.

In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, the journalist currently based in Hong Kong tells about why the cases of women threatened with the release of their intimate photos or videos have increased in recent years, how this type of abuse tears the victims’ lives apart, and how ill-equipped authorities are struggling to deal with the cases. Advocates and survivors say too little is being done to stop the abuse. While the cases proliferated in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea, some women – and a few men – have decided to take action.

The SCMP’s series of stories on image-based abuse is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute’s Asian Stories project, in collaboration with The Korea Times, Indonesia’s Tempo magazine, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and Manila-based ABS-CBN. Most of Raquel Carvalho’s investigative and in-depth stories have been focused on human rights, cross-border security, illicit trade and corruption. She was previously the chief reporter at a Portuguese daily newspaper in Macau, where she moved to from Europe in 2008.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast

About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk

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Joanne Kuai

Joanne Kuai is a PhD Candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden, with a research project on Artificial Intelligence in Chinese Newsrooms. Her research interests centre around data and AI for media, computational journalism, and the social implications of automation and algorithms. Find her on LinkedIn or on Twitter @JoanneKuai.

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