Navigating Online Harassment
Whether you're dealing with trolling or harassment now, or just planning ahead, these resources are all designed to support journalists and newsrooms navigating harassment online. If there are additional resources that you have found helpful, please share them with us. Details on how to share resources with AIR are at the end of this guide.
- PEN America’s Online Harassment Field Manual includes an explanation of what online abuse is and sections on how to prepare, respond, practice self-care, and offer support. Their Digital Safety and Free Expression Program Director wrote a great article that outlines a few steps to take now, if you’re being targeted: What To Do If You're The Target Of Online Harassment (Viktorya Vilk, Harvard Business Review, June 2020)
- International Women’s Media Fund and International Center for Journalists collaboratively maintain an Online Violence Response Hub
- OnlineSoS Action Plans aren’t journalism specific but they offer a few smart points of entry.
- HeartMob by Hollaback! maintains a solid list of resources.
Where should newsrooms start?
- What to Do When Your Employee Is Harassed Online (Viktorya Vilk, Harvard Business Review, July 2020) is an excellent overview.
- Tall Poppy is a service and software designed to help employers (not just newsrooms) protect staff online. They provide incident response and active hands-on support.
- Troll Busters works with newsrooms to establish effective policies and practices for responding to troll mobs and other forms of online harassment; they also publish a handbook for student journalists.
An ounce of prevention
- Yael Grauer covers digital security and privacy for consumer reports. She maintains a very thorough Data Broker Opt Out list and has written some solid guides to protecting your privacy online:
- How to Filter Out Twitter Trolls by Using Block Party (Yael Grauer, Consumer Reports, March 2021)
- How to Delete Your Information From People-Search Sites (Yael Grauer, Consumer Reports, August 2020)
- Why You Should Dox Yourself (Sort Of) Is a classic guide to figuring out what private information about you is available online.
There’s a lot of overlap between digital privacy and mitigating online harassment. The Open News Field Guide to Security Training in the Newsroom includes an extensive appendix with a round up of excellent materials. If you’d like to contribute to the field guide you can always suggest a resource in the github issues page!
Anything to Add?
We'd love to see this document grow and welcome recommendations for resources individual journalists or newsrooms have found helpful. Please email suggestions to [email protected]. This is not an appropriate space for PR firms to suggest articles or resources that are not directly related to the goals of the document: supporting journalists and newsrooms navigating harassment online.