#CyberViolence Citations Needed

(Edit: Made a much shorter version for people to see first, if they don’t feel comfortable jumping right in. It focuses on the more “fun” aspects, the complete and utter failings, and works as a good starting point. Also if anyone wants to use any information here or make any analysis of their own, I 100% support that. Any of the information spreading, gaining reach, I can never complain about that.)

The UN Broadband Commission recently released a 70 page report (mirror here) saying there is a need to deal with cyber violence against women and girls. In it, the end notes contain 120 citations listed to help the reader find where those specific ideas came from and is separate from the bibliography. After briefly reading the report I decided to look at the sources to get a better understanding of where they were coming from and get more information on the subject matter.

Over half of these 120 sources are not valid.
If I presented this in high school, I would have failed. Among these citations links are repeated, definitions and information is simply written with no source, the source is one that leads to nowhere, and, on two occasions, there is no source.

As in the source itself is literally nothing.
This is not me applying certain standards such as APA or MLA and claiming the report’s failure, this is the report failing on every metric of what citations are. Pages 61–67 on the PDF are numbered as 55–61 and where all 120 are listed. If there is an online source I will provide an archive so that even if the page goes down there is a backup that can be used. To repeat myself so we’re absolutely clear: The purpose of this piece is primarily to check the sources to see if they exist, secondarily if they are functional and minimal effort has been done. Ordinarily that does not make sense but when the first page of citations contains unsourced definitions, plagiarism, and repeated links, ordinary reason does not apply anymore. When the citation is left blank multiple times, the massive lack of quality checking becomes apparent and it needs to be called out, especially for a paper coming from the United Nations. For a definition of “functional” I mean that the URL is not broken, and what I specifically refer to with “minimal effort” is that links omitted are not links that come directly from the source itself and requires no sleuthing.

Outside of a bit of color for some humor in this incredibly long and rather dull bit you won’t find much opinion. This is giving a basic check of each citation to confirm or deny its existence and on basic editing, it is not something judging the quality or merit of the sources used. That’s something for another day or for other people.

Page 55

1: Violence against women (WHO), End of Violence (United Nations), End of Violence Facts Sheet (United Nations) (1/120)

2: Broadband Commission (2/120)

3: There is not a valid citation as it is merely a definition with no source. In this report it exists exclusively from the mind of the author. After a Google search, I found the source myself: Wikipedia. Perhaps this was best left with no source after all. It bears worth mentioning that the definition on Wikipedia was not always this, the addition of “Internet-based” and “research” happened October 2013. (2/120)

4: This Is How Trolls Treat Women On The Internet (Huffington Post) (3/120)

5: Twitter troll jailed for ‘campaign of hatred’ against Stella Creasy (Telegraph) (4/120)

6: First off, since when is a citation a paragraph? Secondly, why is there an unsourced paragraph being used? Thirdly, after a Google check I found that this is a word for word copy of a release by the Associated Press. Yet, despite finding multiple links saying the same thing, there is no mention of any of this. Not only is this an empty paragraph by itself and not a valid citation, it’s blatant plagiarism. (4/120)

7: Facts and Figures: Ending Violence against Women (UN Women) (5/120)

8: This is the exact same link as citation 7. Not valid. (5/120)

Page 56

9: This is the exact same link as citation 7 and 8. This is the third time it’s listed. Why? Not valid. (5/120)

10: Internet World Stats (Internet World Stats) (6/120)

11: This is lazy and shows a lack of minimal effort as a quick check for it found me on GSMA’s site with the PDF. Additionally, the citation has the title wrong: It does not say “Women’s,” though they are the primary subject. Please get your titles right when possible. (6/120)

12: Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire (Washington Post) (7/120)

13: the charter of human rights and principles for the internet (The Internet Rights & Principles Dynamic Coalition) (PDF) (8/120)

14: ​Doubling Digital Opportunities — enhancing the inclusion of women & girls in the Information Society (Broadband Commission) (9/120)

15: Here we are given a name and page number. The name has not shown up once in these end notes and it would normally be proper to see it in both as it’s a different section entirely. Checking the bibliography, I found this:

Rifkin, Jeremy. (). p.260

…Not only is this not a valid citation in the end notes, it isn’t even one in the bibliography itself. It’s a quote and a name. No source. No citation. No anything. Not valid on any level. (9/120)

16: A full paragraph again but this time there is a source to Femicide Census. (10/120)

17: Gadhafi Said to Order Forces to Rape Villagers (Womens enews) (11/120)

18: Once again we have nothing but a name (Citron) to go by and once again I check the bibliography for more exact information and find a valid source although by accident; if I click the link in the PDF it brings me to a message saying it’s invalid and upon inspection I understand why: The URL contains the period from the previous sentence. Thankfully I saw it and upon inspection realized this still isn’t helpful as it leads me to a 44 page PDF covering a study in its entirety, going from pages 373 to 416 (for reference, this matches with the information provided in the bibliography itself). In short, this citation for page 253 is either unreachable, is for an unsourced document, or does not exist. Not valid and very sneaky. (11/120)

19: The Globalization of Sex Trafficking (U College) (PDF) (12/120)

20: Transformative Solutions for 2015 and Beyond (Broadband Commission) (PDF) (13/120)

21: Preparing for the Social Internet of Things (AVG) (14/120)

22: This is completely dishonest. What’s done here is those writing this report are citing a webpage using another source then claiming that source as something to be cited here. Or to simplify it: this is reading a summary of another person’s work and saying you looked at that person’s work. Not valid and incredibly wrong. (14/120)

23: As if ignoring everything they did above they actually have the nerve to cite the summary separately to Facts and Figures (Stop Porn Culture). This, while valid, is the point where I’m impressed at how bold this new citation technique really is. (15/120)

24: Causes, protective and risk factors (UN Women) (16/120)

25: Though there is no URL this study (Critically Evaluating Typologies of Internet Sex Offenders: A Psychological Perspective Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Volume 11, Issue 5, 2011) appears to at the very least exist. (17/120)

Page 57

26: Chapter II (International Crime Threat Assessment (18/120)

27: Author and title prompt me to check the bibliography again, where I find it. One problem: The link is broken. ‘Don’t Let it Stand!’ An Exploratory Study of Women and Verbal Online Abuse in India (18/120)

28: Despite DNA, the Rapist Got Away (The New York Times) (19/120)

29: Violence Against Women: An EU-wide survey (FRA) (PDF) (20/120)

30: Prevention of violence against women and girls (UN Women) (PDF) (21/120)

31: New study highlights need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally (UNDP) (22/120)

32: Broken link. (22/120)

33: Smartphone Users Worldwide Will Total 1.75 Billion in 2014 (emarketer)(23/120)

34: Women talking video games online risk abuse, threats (CBC) (24/120)

35: 52% of gamers are women — but the industry doesn’t know it (The Guardian) (25/120)

36: Social Networking Fact Sheet (pewinternet) (26/120)

37: Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2015 (in millions) (Statistica) (27/120)

38: As mentioned in citation 15, Rifkin has no valid material to work with. (27/120)

39 Though all we have is a name and page number, this is in reference to a book mentioned in the bibliography (Zadrozny Peter and Raghu Kodali. (2013 ) Big Data Analytics Using Splunk: Deriving Operational Intelligence from Social Media, Machine Data, Existing Data Warehouses, and Other Real-Time Streaming Sources. Apress) and though I cannot verify it, the book exists. (28/120)

40: As mentioned in citations 15 and 38, Rifkin has no valid material to work with. (28/120)

41: WhatsApp claims over 500 million active users; India the largest market (NDTV) (29/120)

42: Statistica does not appear to exist. (29/120)

43: On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed. (Slate) (30/120)

Page 58

44: European Union Publishes Comprehensive Survey of Violence Against Women (Global Voices) (31/120)

45: Cyber Bullies Target Kenya’s Women (IPSNews) (32/120)

46: We have another author and year but no information. Checking the rest of the document and bibliography, I found one source with either author’s name:

Halder, Debarati & K. Jaishankar (2015). Harassment via WHATsAPP in Urban & Rural India. A Baseline Survey Report (2015) file:///C:/Users/owner/Downloads/CCVCresearchreport2015.pdf

Dear “owner,”
Your C drive is not a valid source.
Additionally, you have the wrong year. You sourced something in 2015 for the bibliography yet in the end notes it’s 2010. (32/120)

47: Voices from digital spaces: Technology related violence against women (APC) (PDF) (33/120)

48 Violence Against Women (UN Women) (34/120)

49: There is no source providing information on the of Amanda Todd. It is simply the author’s words. Not valid. (34/120)

50: Understanding Technology-Related Violence Against Women: Types of Violence and Women’s Experiences (Western Education) (PDF) (35/120)

51: This appears to be a Q&A page on genderit.org however this specific answer does not appear there or in the PDF that goes in detail. This still exists, and though it’s misleading (much like the title issue before), I’ll include it to the list. (36/120)

52: Cyber-Violence Against Women (BWSS) (PDF) (37/120)

53: Another Author (Year) combo, another problem found: There is one mention of Hughes in the body of the document and nowhere else. There is no information on this, no source, and thus, it is not valid. (37/120)

54: Violence Against Women On The Internet (Berkman Online Lectures & Discussions) (38/120)

55: Chinese police save hundreds of babies from online trading racket (CNN) (39/120)

56: Sneaky tactic but no, repeating yourself with a different name won’t work. This is the study seen in citation 47. Not valid. (39/120)

57: A Reputation Destroyed (genderit) (PDF) (40/120)

58: Of Nude Photographs and a Culture of Impunity (genderit) (PDF)(41/120)

59: How A Fake Facebook Profile Threatened To Destroy One Family’s Life (genderit) (PDF) (42/120)

60: Cases on women’s experiences of technology-related VAW and their access justice (APC) (43/120)

61: As mentioned in citations 15, 38, and 40, Rifkin has no valid material to work with. (43/120)

62: The Facts About Violence Against Women (Canadian Women’s Foundation) (44/120)

63: Exact same URL as citation 62. Not valid. (44/120)

64: Voices against Violence: A Non-Formal Education Programme for Children and Youth to Help Stop Violence against Girls and Young Women Worth noting, the source of this file is a press release by UN Women. (45/120)

Page 59

65: Orange Day (United Nations) (46/120)

66: The URL is broken in the PDF. Found the proper one, it’s a link to the Kickstarter HeartMob. As it is not functional, it will not be counted to the total. (46/120)

67: Authors, title, and page number are provided. Author and title match up to a source in the bibliography and lead to a book:

Smith, Peter K & Steffgen Georges (Eds.) (2014). Cyberbullying through the new media: Findings from an international network. Florence, KY: Psychology Press, 2014.

Though this is not available online, it does appear to exist. (47/120)

68: COST ACTION IS0801 Cyberbullying: coping with negative and enhancing positive uses of new technologies, in relationships in educational settings. (ISO801 pitch?) (48/120)


70: As mentioned in citation 18, Citron has no valid material to work with that would cover this. (49/120)

71: Facebook gives way to campaign against hate speech on its pages (The Guardian) (50/120)

72: This is blank. Literally, no citation. (50/120)

73 Women and the Web (Intel, PDF) (51/120)

74 Once again, the URL is broken in the PDF. Once again, I have found the source. Handbook for Legislation on Violence against Women (United Nations (PDF). As it is not functional, it is not included for the total.(51/120)

75: No. Citation. (51/120)

76: The link is dead. It did exist at one point as google cache has it. This is an article about an article. Amanda Hess: “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet” (Mother Jones) As it is not functional, once again, it is not included for the total. (51/120)

77: As a point of reference, the article above talks about this article specifically, double dipping the source. “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.” (Pacific Standard.) (52/120)

78: This is a continued story over an earlier PDF but is a different source. End violence: Women’s rights and safety online From impunity to justice: Improving corporate policies to end technology-related violence against women (genderit) (53/120)

79 Report of the S0pecial Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (United Nations) (54/120)

80: “We Talk Women” is a website of which Kavita Dogra is the founder. This citation is to “interview notes,” yet I could not find anything regarding them for this date. I cannot find evidence of these notes and she is not referenced in the rest of the report. Without evidence, I cannot in good faith count this as valid, especially on the same page that had two literal blank entries. (54/120)

81: As mentioned in citations 18 and 70, Citron has no valid material to work with that would cover this. (54/120)

82: Twitter announces crackdown on abuse with new filter and tighter rules (The Guardian) (55/120)

83: This is the first and only time that “Halter” is mentioned in this entire report. Not valid. (55/120)

84: Facebook & your privacy (Consumer Reports) (56/120)

85: Facebook patent reveals plans for children to join the social network (The Guardian) (57/120)

86: There are two sources in the bibliography for Smith & Steffgen. While it may apply to the book, unlike the previous entry, there is no title or year to help determine anything on it beyond these authors, on this page. As this has already failed multiple times before with multiple sources, I cannot in good faith say that this is valid at face value. Even a direct connection to suggest it’s existence in a particular source would help over this. (57/120)

87: This is the exact same source as citation 78. Not valid. (57/120)

88: Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users (The Berkman Center) (58/120)

89: Sweden wants to label games that promote gender equality (Polygon) (59/120)

90: Cyber security device to protect women from violence (The Economic Times) (60/120)

91: Authors, name. As usual now, to the bibliography.

Viswanath, Kalpana and Ashish Basu. (2015). “SafetiPin: an innovative mobile app to collect data on women’s safety in Indian cities.” Gender & Development, 2015. Vol.23, No.1, 45–60. Oxfam GB 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/135

Up to this point there are no problems. The issue lies with the URL used: It cuts off at 135, leaving a dead link. Here’s the proper source for yet another non functional URL in the report. (60/120)

92: Kenya and the rise of the call blocking app (GSMA) (61/120)

93: Cisco Men for Inclusion (CISCO) (62/120)

94: Section J: From footnotes to headlines (APC) (63/120)

95 Ignoring the typo, the source of “APC VAW Online Infograhic” does not help anyone find anything. Looking for the specific citation in the document does not link me to anywhere either or show this claimed infographic so others can see it. This is an incredibly broad citation with no evidence of its existence. Not valid. (63/120)

96: The Web and Rising Global Inequality (The Web Index) (64/120)

97: This is the same URL as citation 96, only using a different section of the same document. Not valid. (64/120)

98: The 7 Deadly Myths of Online Violence Against Women (Witipoli) (65/120)

99: As has been the case with previous paragraphs in the citation, there are no URLs to be found and this is solely used at the author’s discretion. Furthermore this is an odd bit of plagiarism in that the paragraph itself actually states where it came from: The EFF. Not valid due to no link and an odd twist to the continued trend that has existed ever since citation 3. (65/120)

100: Almost had this one slip by me but fortunately I double checked my work. This is the same source as citation 27. It’s a duplicate of a broken link and not valid. (65/120)

101: Not to be confused with citations 78 and 87, though it shares the same title the author and date are both different. (66/120)

102: On the other hand, this citation is the exact same URL as the one above, 101, and is not valid for being yet another duplicate. (66/120)

103: I have no idea what this URL is supposed to be. The site does not appear to have a history-vawga anymore and this is a dead link. (66/120)

104: As mentioned in citations 18, 70, and 81, Citron has no valid material to work with that would cover this. (66/120)

105: As mentioned in citations 18, 70, 81, and 104, Citron has no valid material to work with that would cover this. (66/120)

106: Keeping women safe? Gender, online harassment and Indian law (Internet Democracy) (67/120)

107: Harassment via WhatsApp in Urban and Rural India (CCVC) (PDF) (68/120)

108: As mentioned in citations 18, 70, 81, 104, and 105, Citron has no valid material to work with that would cover this. (68/120)

109: Broadband Commission Gender Working Group (2014) Draft Analysis: Gender and ICT Policy Workstream (Empower Women) (69/120)

110: Feminist Tech Exchange (APC) (70/120)

111: Domestic legal remedies for technology related violence against women: Review of related studies and literature (APC) (71/120)

112: Author and year brings me to the bibliography once again. In it is the piece cited in both 78 and 87. This is yet another example of repeating the source to seemingly bloat citations. (71/120)

113: Best Practice Forums (IGF) (72/120)

114: Two links are provided. The first, CONTENT TAGGED WITH CYBERSECURITY/CYBERCRIME (UNSCEB), is a list of pages tagged with Cybersecurity or Cybercrime. The second, a PDF that is a “report [that] covers the outcome of the second regular session of CEB of 2013. (73/120)

115: UN conference weighs efforts to combat cybercrime, create safer digital world (United Nations) (74/120)

116: Feminist Principles of the Internet (genderit) (75/120)

117: I do not know or understand why the title is written out in full, with direct citation to it, yet there is no link to the UN provided despite a significant number of links being to the UN itself. Review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly. I can only believe the answer is in laziness and that minimal effort was not done for this one. (75/120)

118: PROGRAMMED TO KILL — Video Games, Drugs, and The ‘New Violence’ (21st Century) This 2000 piece discussing satanic video games most certainly exists. (76/120)

119: This is another example of taking the source from another source and applying it to this report. The author is, L. Rowell Huesmann, this is the final version of his paper which is not included in the UN report, and this is, once again, completely dishonest practice and not valid. (76/120)

120: This is a surprisingly full citation for a book. The book exists. (77/120)

77/120. 64%.
That means that 36% of the citations in this document by the UN are either broken, duplicates, have little no effort put into sourcing them at all (only 3 of these, don’t bother nitpicking), are blank, or don’t appear to exist.

Bonus Fact!
Over 15%* of all the citations are to the UN and its subdivisions.