This is the second and final report of the Cyber Safety in Remote Aboriginal Communities research project, conducted by RMIT in partnership with Telstra. The interim report was released in 2016.
The final report focuses on two key findings. Firstly, the tools and platform features for managing online privacy do not necessarily accord with the relatedness that characterises social life in Aboriginal communities. Secondly, some kinds of content can perpetuate conflict, and current platform moderation methods may be inadequate for dealing with it. While there are cultural explanations for how privacy issues and conflict unfold in these communities, this can change or be amplified through certain attributes of platforms and devices. Both Indigenous governance and platform governance need to be considered when addressing these issues, taking into account the ways in which user practices are leading to particular outcomes.
Understanding how conflict and harm are occurring is important for both community safety and digital inclusion. This report identifies several approaches to addressing cyber safety in Aboriginal communities, including mediation of various kinds, and identifying ‘trusted flaggers.’
In addition to the report, RMIT University has produced an audio documentary discussing the findings entitled Disconnect.
The authors thank the communities where the research took place, and recognise the Traditional Owners of the lands visited over the course of the project. Telstra funded the research and podcasts as an action within the “Connection and Capability” priority focus area of its Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–18.