Twitter’s focusing on behavioral cues to tackle online abuse


  • Twitter is tweaking its algorithms to weed out more online abuse. Chief exec Jack Dorsey explains to The Guardian that “The spirit of the thing is that we want to take the burden off the person receiving abuse or mob-like behavior.
  • You can’t just ignore (all) the trolls, says this writer, who talks about women in sports and online harassment.
  • A new report suggests more governments are using trolls, bots and others to distribute propaganda, alter public opinion, distort the facts and crack down on opposition.
  • Is a university responsible for protecting its students from online harassment through a third-party app? A court weighs the issue.
  • Psychology Today looks at the psychological toll of cyberstalking.
  • The International Association of Women in Radio and Television summarizes two weeks of panels and workshops on #onlineharassment at the #CSW62 in New York this March.
  • BBC Woman’s Hour has started a series, Takeback ConTroll, covering stories of women who have experienced online abuse.

#RightsCon in Toronto

RightsCon is happening now in Toronto, a conference about human rights in a digital age. Follow the hashtag #RightsCon to see discussion about algorithms, bots, identity and human rights. On Thursday, May 17, Dr. Michelle Ferrier, founder of, will be speaking at “Take Back the Net: Innovations in Tackling Online Hate and Harassment.”
The conversation will focus on the global aspects of online harassment, particularly for journalists and other thought leaders. As the internet and social media become increasingly essential to our lives and careers, online hate speech and harassment remain rampant, with evidence that they’re having a chilling effect in our online communities. With tech companies unable to effectively meet the needs of each individual targeted by hate on the internet, innovative intermediary groups have risen up, employing a diverse array of effective tactics to combat hate, silence harassers, and give power back to internet users themselves. This panel discussion will feature the ingenious innovators who have stepped in to offer solutions to an endemic problem that tech companies are still struggling to solve, offering a ray of hope that our online communities might one day become safer and more inclusive for all.


Should Students Consider Pseudonyms?
Student journalists are under attack by trolls seeking to derail them from their journalism careers. Gershon Harrell of Kent State University, looks at the issue and talks with Dr. Michelle Ferrier about why she advocates pseudonyms for women journalists in the face of online hate.


LISTEN as WVXU’s Mark Heyne talks with TrollBusters founder Michelle Ferrier about her work in fighting online harassment. [May 2016]


Secure Your Digital Property

Our 16-lesson Digital Hygiene Course offers quick tips to help you protect your digital presence. This week, take these steps:

Check out these and other lessons at


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