75% of women journalists experience online violence, 18% receive threats of sexual violence: Report

The report, commissioned by Unesco, surveyed over 1,000 journalists in 15 countries over three years.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The majority of women journalists across the world face online abuse and threats, according to a recent study, and 25 percent of respondents have received threats of physical abuse, including death threats.

These are some of the findings of The Chilling: Global trends in online violence against women journalists. Commissioned by Unesco, the report relied on research by the International Center for Journalists and the University of Sheffield. Over a period of three years, it surveyed over 1,000 journalists in 15 countries. 

Among other findings, the report said 18 percent of respondents had received threats of sexual violence. Thirteen percent received threats of violence against those close to them, including children and infants, and 48 percent said they had been “harassed with unwanted private social media messages”.

Seventy-five percent had experienced online violence in some form. Fifteen percent experienced “image-based abuse, such as manipulated photos or videos, stolen images and explicit images shared publicly without permission”.

According to the Guardian, the report called for social media companies to “overhaul algorithms that have been found to drive hate against women, and for perpetrators of gender-based online violence to be deplatformed and penalised”. The report described it as a “crisis of online violence towards women journalists”. Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr, for instance, was found to have been the target of 10,400 instances of “obvious abuse” between December 2019 and January 2021. Cadwalladr was one of the journalists who exposed the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

It should be remembered that globally, India is among 12 countries where killers of journalists can get away. According to 2021 data, these 12 countries account for 81 percent of journalist murders in the last 10 years where no one has been held to account. Read this report on Newslaundry for more.

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