Bloodletting of Bot Accounts in #TwitterLockOut

Weekly News, Training & Resources


Twitter Purge Tweet#TwitterLockOut hashtag activity peaked on Wednesday as Twitter purged bot accounts from users’ networks. Twitter’s actions — explained in this blog post — affected many Conservative accounts, prompting a #MAGA move to platforms like Gab. Russian bots had recently been active spreading hate around the Parkland, Florida high school shooting as reported in the New York Times.

Olympic Athletes Offer Inspiration: Even sports stars at the top of their game have to put up with trolling. Lindsey Vonn said she sleeps well at night despite receiving hate tweets after a mistake in the Super-G. Charlie White also shared how he handles Twitter trolls. The Independent details other athletes’ strategies for staying focused despite a barrage of negativity on social media.

OSCE Report Provides Recommendations for Media Management: A new report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Representative on Freedom of the Media details the threat online abuse of female journalists poses to freedom of the media. Founder of TrollBusters Dr. Michelle Ferrier worked with the OSCE on the report, part of the 2017 relaunch of OSCE’s Safety of Female Journalists online campaign (#SOFJO). In addition to the effects on individual journalists, online harassment poses a threat to the press as a whole, says the report. OSCE, which conducted targeted research, surveys and workshops between 2015 and 2017, presented some key recommendations for taking action in the report. Read our recap of their recommendations for media organizations or follow OSCE at @osce_rfom to stay up to date.

In other international headlines:

  • In Pakistan, the non-governmental organization DRF released a report, “Digital (In)Security of Journalists in Pakistan.” It shows that most journalists had experienced harassment in some form, which had in some cases led to self-censorship. Read the highlights.
  • In Australia, the proposed Dolly’s Law would work much like a domestic violence restraining order, The proposed law, named after a 14-year-old who took her own life after being cyberbullied, would ban perpetrators from social media, or at least from contacting their victims online.
  • And in Nigeria, Hajiya Maryam Ado-Haruna is calling for measures to prevent Gender-Based Violence Online.


ijnet story screencap

READ this piece about TrollBusters’ services by Sherry Ricchiardi in IJNet. [February 20, 2018]

Ferrier presents at Scripps College

LISTEN as Michelle Ferrier talks to CBC’s Sook-Yin Lee about how TrollBusters is fighting to keep women writers online. [March 12, 2016]


Curriculum Teaches Student Reporters Safety Principles for Dangerous Assignments

Five organizations have come together to help the next generation of journalism students prepare for dangerous assignments, whether they involve war, organized crime and cartels, political revolution, or digital surveillance. The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation and the Medill School of Journalism’s National Security Journalism Initiative partnered with the Facebook Journalism Project, Reporters Without Borders and A Culture of Safety to create the four-session curriculum designed for use in reporting courses. Contact the Foley Foundation for access to the Journalist Safety Guide.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: