She’s Not Alone launches Monday 6 February
Authors Loren Dela Cruz
Date 30 January 2023
Ride-sharing has become one of the major ways in which people commute. While safety standards for riders and drivers have seen improvement over the years, with 5-star policies, ride verification and a strengthened focus on user feedback, ride-share companies have done little to acknowledge the significant levels of gender-based violence and assault that are reported within service experiences each year, particularly in Australia.
She’s Not Alone is a collaborative short film between She’s A Crowd, Monash University’s Emerging Technologies Research Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S) that illustrates the everyday stories of gender-based violence in ridesharing and the outsourcing of trust and safety to automated systems.
It invites us to sit with real stories of gender-based violence as more than just data but as lived experiences. In a world where automated systems, technology and digital data are increasingly present we want to prompt governments, tech designers and industry to ask: What kinds of safeguards do we want in a world of automated technologies? How should we manage and control them? We need to imagine a future where safety involves a combination of technology and human connections/community support.
Inspired by a true story, the film follows Lina, played by Michelle Keating, who endures an alarming rideshare experience that violates her right to safety. It highlights how ‘share my trip’ and ‘follow my ride’ functionalities only provide an illusion of safety, as opposed to a means of emergency intervention.
Director of She’s Not Alone, Isabella Conti-Morato describes the film as an exploration of “how automated decision-making can be a vehicle to mitigate, or further exacerbate experiences of gender-based violence. We urgently need to shift these narratives, and change starts with exposure.”
The story prompts rideshare companies to establish safer and more inclusive service design and communicates the power of survivor storytelling to shape, strengthen and challenge the status quo.
“It’s an invitation to do better,” said ADM+S Research Fellow and filmmaker Jeni Lee.
“It’s an invitation to do better” – Jeni Lee
Zoe Condliffe, Founder and CEO of She’s A Crowd—a data-tech startup focused on using survivor-led stories to inform policy change—hopes that “She’s Not Alone will spark curiosity and conversation about what that world would look like if we centre survivor-experiences in decision-making and automation.”
“Everyone has a right to feel safe moving from A to B in their cities. And unfortunately, not everyone does. We worked closely with a survivor who experienced a story very similar to Lina’s to create this film, and we know it will speak to so many more.”
She’s Not Alone launches on Monday 6 February 2023 on the ADM+S Centre’s YouTube channel.
Loren Dela Cruz
Communications and Engagement Manager