Student journalists not immune from online trolls


  • What We’re Watching: Indian journalist Rana Ayyub has received death threats, gang rape threats and worse for her critical exposes of the government. She recently appeared on BBC to name her attackers and how violent threats have become a Twitter storm.
  • Zambian media workers are pushing back against the Zambian government for fast tracking several cybersecurity bills without proper vetting with civil society.
  • At the G7 summit in Canada, British Prime Minister Theresa May urged internet firms to do more to prevent online abuse and harassment of women, Reuters reports.
  • U.S. constitutional lawyer Noah Feldman explains the tenuous balance when we start to regulate how platforms limit free speech, even to prevent abuse or protect the right to follow the U.S. president’s Twitter account.
  • And a member of the U.K. parliament advocates digital IDs and ending online anonymity as a way to curb trolling and “mob rule.”
  • A new book, “Uncovering Online Commenting Culture: Trolls, Fanboys and Lurkers,” from Renee Barnes looks at why people behave the way they do online.
  • The Tweet Police? This language-policing AI is unlikely to make you more civil on the Internet, but it’s determined to try.
  • Does the Sarahah app, popular among teenage girls in Australia, facilitate cyberbullying? A spike in online harassment and bullying may lead to suicides, warn experts.


Student journalists are not immune from idiots on the web. This Kent Stater columnist experienced threats that caused her to go to authorities. How should student media workers defend themselves? Gershon Harrell talks to TrollBusters founder Dr. Michelle Ferrier for tips on best practices. Photo courtesy of Madison Newingham.TrollBusters Infographic HindiOur practical “What to Do?” infographic leads journalists through response to different types of threats…now in Russian, Spanish, Hindi and English.

Highlight of the Week

The Best Antidote is a Good Laugh…and a Great Clapback

You know…like Stephen Colbert, we just don’t appreciate all the #onlinehate toward our leading womxn of color, especially the recent trashing on Kelly Marie Tran on Instagram. So this new Star Wars trailer highlights all the sheroes in one mega femflick just to piss off the Fanboys. WATCH HERE.


Claim Your Seat: Digital Self-Defense Class

Register now for Orientation: Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts, a 1-1/2 hour guided tour through the dark web and digital security for journalists:

This 1 1/2-hour webinar, taught by Michelle Ferrier, provides an orientation to online abuse and digital security, the legal boundaries of online speech and ways in which journalists are exposed to online harassment. Participants will also generate their personal threat model and explore tools for protecting their digital reputation online and off. Learn more about our course offerings. Register now.

In the meantime, browse our Digital Hygiene Course, 10-minute mini lessons on digital practices to keep online pests away.

Check out these and other lessons at

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