Majority of women journalists are victims of online violence and hate
Women journalists are frequently targeted with hate, abuse, and violence on social media platforms.. A recent international study revealed that online abuse of women journalists poses a serious threat to press freedom. It has resulted in the murder of several female journalists all over the world.
The report, which is based on research from the University of Sheffield and the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), also illustrates the trajectory of online-to-offline violence, demonstrating how online harassment and threats lead to physical assaults. It draws attention to the murder of Mexican journalist Mara Elena Ferral, who, prior to her death, had spoken out against internet harassment by the son of a local mayor.
75 percent of professional women worldwide have experienced online harassment and violence
Globally, the study discovered that nearly three-quarters of the female journalists surveyed have encountered online aggression while conducting their jobs.
- 25% of respondents reported threats of physical violence, including threats of murder, and 18% reported sexual violence.
- Furthermore, 13% of respondents reported receiving threats of violence against family members, especially young children and newborns.
- 48% of the female journalists who participated in the poll said they have received inappropriate private social media communications.
In the online world, where patriarchal norms are being aggressively reinforced, the research called out the “victim-blaming and slut-shaming that promotes sexist and misogynistic responses to offline violence against women.”
The report aims to raise awareness about how frequently and viciously female journalists are attacked online. It demands that the major tech corporations change their algorithms to make their platforms a welcoming environment for female journalists.
The authors of the report encouraged social media companies to change algorithms that have been found to incite hatred toward women and to deplatform and punish those who engage in gender-based online violence.
Governments, the news business, and major tech companies are all being urged by the authors to do more to address what they call “a crisis of online violence towards women journalists.”
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