Research highlights trends in online violence against women journalists

The Chilling: Global trends in online violence against women journalists shows a disturbing trend of online abuse towards women journalists. 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published a research paper on global trends in online violence against women journalists. The research, conducted by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), was based on interviews and surveys conducted with more than 850 female journalists.

The study shows that online violence has a negative impact on women’s freedom of expression and journalism: 20% of survey respondents indicated that they withdrew from all online interactions in response to encountering online aggression, while 30% said they self-censored on social media. Another finding is that disinformation and political extremism are connected to the online abuse of female journalists. Some 41% of those who responded to the survey claimed to have been the target of online attacks that seemed to be related to planned disinformation campaigns.