Kellie Carlyle, Virginia Commonwealth University
The results show that victim blaming was present in 11.7% (n=88) of the sample, 8% (n=60) mentioned rape, 10.5% (n=75) mentioned bystander intervention (either the presence of or encouragement to), and 13.5% (n=102) mentioned homicide.
In addition, study results suggest that mentioning physical abuse may have an effect on Pinterest engagement… and suggest that when Pinterest users mention or show psychological abuse in pins, engagement with their pins increases.
Pinning about #IPV: The discussion about intimate partner violence on Pinterest
The term “intimate partner violence”(IPV) refers to a broad range of abusive behaviors, including “physical and sexual violence, threats of physical or sexual violence, and psychological or emotional abuse by a current or former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or cohabitating partner” (Breiding, Black, & Ryan, 2008). Recent data indicate that approximately one in three women and one in four men have physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime, and nearly half have experienced psychological abuse.
Despite increasing awareness of the problem, the prevalence of IPV has remained relatively unchanged for at least two decades, presenting a significant challenge for practitioners and scientists working in the field of violence prevention. One explanation for the continuing epidemic of IPV is the lack of social responsibility attributed to the issue and the pervasiveness of victim-blaming attitudes in media and society (Gracia & Herrero, 2007). In fact, studies suggest that media representations are one of the most powerful influences on public perceptions about crime and victimization (Haider-Markel & Joslyn, 2001), particularly regarding attributions of responsibility for the causes of and solutions to violence.
While previous studies have established the profound impact of traditional media coverage of IPV on public opinion and perceptions of the issue, there is a dearth of evidence on the portrayal of IPV on various social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. According to the latest estimates from the Pew Research Center, more than 60% of the entire adult population in the U.S. uses at least one of these social media platforms, and that number continues to grow (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe, Lenhart, & Madden, 2015). Therefore, social media may represent a particularly rich source of data for understanding public perceptions of IPV from a novel viewpoint. Based on the characteristics of Pinterest and its users, this platform may represent a unique and salient avenue for IPV-related information.
This study analyzed IPV-related posts on social media platform Pinterest using a quantitative content analysis of 750 randomly selected pins that used either keyword “IPV/Intimate Partner Violence” or “Domestic Violence”.
The results show that victim blaming was present in 11.7% (n=88) of the sample, 8% (n=60) mentioned rape, 10.5% (n=75) mentioned bystander intervention (either the presence of or encouragement to), and 13.5% (n=102) mentioned homicide. In addition, study results suggest that mentioning physical abuse may have an effect on Pinterest engagement. Specifically, the results suggest that when Pinterest users mention or show physical abuse in pins, engagement with their pins decreases. In addition, these results suggest that when Pinterest users mention or show psychological abuse in pins, engagement with their pins increases.
Finally, the results suggest that mentioning individual level factors for preventing or stopping IPV also may have an effect on Pinterest engagement: when Pinterest users mention individual level factors in their pins, engagement with their pins increases, while the mention of societal/policy level factors is associated with decreased Pinterest engagement.
Panel Debriefing & Discussion