Global Study: Online Violence Against Women Journalists
Online violence against women journalists is one of the most serious contemporary threats to press freedom internationally. It aids and abets impunity for crimes against journalists, including physical assault and murder. It is designed to silence, humiliate, and discredit. It inflicts very real psychological injury, chills public interest journalism, kills women’s careers and deprives society of important voices and perspectives.
The women journalists who took part in the research said they had been subjected to a wide range of online violence, including threats of sexual assault and physical violence, abusive language, harassing private messages, threats to damage their professional or personal reputations, digital security attacks, misrepresentation via manipulated images and financial threats.
The Chilling illuminates the evolving challenges faced by women journalists dealing with prolific and/or sustained online violence around the world, including the ways that disinformation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic deepen the problem. It also pays careful attention to the nature of intersectional abuse – for example, where racism and bigotry overlap with misogyny as features of online attacks.
This ground-breaking three-year global study on gender-based online violence against women journalists represents collaborative research covering 15 countries. It is the most geographically, linguistically, and ethnically diverse scoping of the crisis conducted up until late 2022.