Title

Trollbusters: Fighting Online Harassment of Women Journalists

Publication Date

2-14-2018

Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Department

Journalism and Mass Communications

Disciplines

Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Social Media | Women's Studies

Publication Title

Mediating Misogyny

Editor

Jacqueline Ryan Vickery, Tracy Everbach

Abstract

For women journalists, online harassment may result in emotional stress and may require legal and technological remedies to mitigate the damage caused to their identity and reputation. Perpetrators can use a combination of online and offline attacks that threaten the employment and safety of journalists. In the case of women writers, misogynistic and racist attacks can create a chilling effect that silences their voices online and creates a deterrent to freedom of expression that ultimately erodes the freedom of the press. Based on the examination of seminal work, case studies and personal anecdotes, this chapter investigates the consequences of abuse via Twitter and Facebook on the freedom of speech, the emotional and psychological impact on women journalists, and its implications on press freedom. Moreover, before suggesting digital defense strategies for journalists, the chapter also chronicles the development of TrollBusters, a platform for women journalists that counters online hate with positive messaging and just-in-time rescue services.

Keywords

Online Harassment, Women Journalists, Social Justice Warriors

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