Doxing of Reporters Chills Coverage

At least 11 Huffington Post reporters were doxed and threatened online by the alt-right in May 2018 after reporter Luke O’Brien produced a story that identified the Twitter account of social media user @AmyMek, suspected of spreading hate speech. Doxing is when personal information, such as work or home address and telephone numbers are distributed on the web.

@amymek

O’Brien said he received thousands of threatening and harassing tweets following the article. The account @AmyMek, promoted this thread below, encouraging her followers to go after the HuffPost:

In an ironic twist, Twitter suspended the reporter’s account rather than the account of the user breaking community standards.

What Journalists and Management Can Do

  • Engage the company’s social media team to do more monitoring of threatening social media users and to engage corporate security, if necessary.
  • Close off commenting on virulent comment threads.
  • Don’t archive articles that may retrigger an attack on the journalist/writer/photographer.
  • Block abusive messages or re-route away from targeted journalist(s).

LINKS: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/luke-obrien-doxed-threats-amymek_us_5b16bb9de4b0734a9937f2ca

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