Dr Emma A. Jane is Australia’s leading expert on cyber violence against women and girls. Her early career research sits at the vanguard of international scholarship in the field and has played a key role in raising awareness about the prevalence and tangible harms of hate speech online — in the face of denials and resistance from powerful stakeholders. Emma’s thought leadership achievements include prolific, accessible and influential publications; substantial contributions to defining government and industry policy on cyberhate interventions; and outstanding domestic and international media engagement as a public intellectual and cyberhate victim advocate.
Emma's work has made her the target of vicious trolling. Not only has she walked the anti-cyberviolence walk, she has courageously made all the raw materials for her extensive and painstaking research available as a database for future researchers to use.
I wouldn’t announce myself as a thought leader at a dinner party. But I do feel passionately about my research and communicating the findings of my research to broad audiences and those in positions of power. If that's what thought leadership is, then it's certainly something that I feel strongly about and embrace.
When it comes to hate speech online, a lot of my battle starting out was to convince people that there was indeed a problem. I had a lot of articles rejected early on by reviewers who said, ‘Well I haven't noticed any misogyny on the internet - this can't be a real problem. Anyway, it's just the internet, it's virtual.’ It's been an uphill battle to get the problem taken seriously. And that has involved ‘thought leadership’, facing outwards from the university and convincing other academics that this is a serious problem worthy of investigation.