TrollBusters was featured in the International Association of Women in Radio and Television’s new safety handbook for women journalists. Ferrier describes tactics journalists can use online to counter abusive threats. A printed version of the handbook was distributed to attendees of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in Manhattan.
March 7, 2018
TrollBusters was featured in Liberation as one solution for journalists.
TrollBusters was also featured in the Spanish press (in Spanish). “El acoso es increíble. Recibir amenazas de muerte o de violación se está volviendo cada vez más habitual”, afirma. “No se trata solo de denigrar su trabajo; rebuscan en las redes sociales para acosar desde todos los frentes. El objetivo es someterlas a toda la presión posible para intentar que se vengan abajo.”
A new book, Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology and Harassment, features a chapter from TrollBusters founder Dr. Michelle Ferrier about her efforts to curtail online abuse of women journalists.
February 20, 2018
IJNet features TrollBusters’ services. Read.
January 22, 2018
KALW’s City Visions program in California interviews TrollBusters founder Dr. Michelle Ferrier on the growing online abuse of women and journalists in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
December 1, 2017
Ferrier, Michelle. “Online Abuse Stifles Women Journalists Around the Globe,” London School of Economics and Political Science, Centre for Women, Peace and Security, December 1, 2017.
November 13, 2017
October 13, 2017
Newmark Foundation Grant to Enable Research by IWMF and TrollBusters on Online Harassment of Female Journalists in U.S.
WASHINGTON, DC/ATHENS, OHIO–The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has just received a grant from the Craig Newmark Foundation to conduct research in the United States on online harassment of women journalists. Dr. Michelle Ferrier, founder of TrollBusters, will be the principal investigator on the project, while Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) of California will provide survey support.
The research will enable the community to better understand the breadth and depth of how online trolling impacts female journalists – abuse that is almost always violent or sexualized in nature when directed at women – and aimed at silencing and censoring them. A Demos think tank survey from 2014 of harassment on Twitter found that female journalists receive roughly three times as much abuse as their male counterparts. Meanwhile, the IWMF’s 2014 report “Violence and Harassment against Women in the News Media; A Global Picture,” revealed that two-thirds of those surveyed experienced acts of intimidation, threats and abuse, in person or online.
“The numbers are difficult to pin down, but this is one of the most pernicious problems facing women journalists today,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the IWMF. “We are regularly hearing anecdotes and testimonials of American women journalists experiencing a surge in online harassment. The data collected through this study will enable us to truly understand the size and scope of the problem, which is essential to mounting an effective response and supporting female journalists who live with this threat.” It is widely believed that many women do not speak up about online abuse due to fears of being ignored or that it will escalate the problem.
Ferrier has been conducting interviews with women journalists since the election to find the ways in which they build resilience following online harassment. An associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Ferrier was honored in 2017 with the South by Southwest (SXSW) Community Service Award for the just-in-time rescue work of Troll-Busters.com and its online protection awareness, support and educational materials.
Ferrier, who launched her social venture two years ago, says the project will help inform international strategies.
“We need research that illuminates the significant emotional and work stresses that online harassment places on journalists who are targets,” Ferrier said. “And that the effects on the individual and the free press have global consequences.”
The IWMF plans to release the research report in Summer 2018.
# # #
International Women’s Media Foundation: Since 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has worked to unleash the potential of women journalists as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media. We seek to ensure that women journalists worldwide are fully supported, protected, recognized and rewarded for their vital contributions at all levels of the news media. As a result, consumers will increase their demand for news with a diversity of voices, stories and perspectives as a cornerstone of democracy and free expression.
Michelle Ferrier, PhD, the founder of TrollBusters was herself a target of hate mail and online harassment. The first African-American columnist for a Florida daily newspaper, she was forced to leave her job as a columnist and online community manager after receiving threats from white supremacists. She developed TrollBusters in 2015 to provide just-in-time services to women journalists with support from IWMF and the Knight Foundation.
December 15, 2016
Cyber Law & Business Report [December, 20, 2017] “2017 CLBR Hero: Michelle Ferrier, Founder of Trollbusters.” https://cyberlawradio.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/2017-clbr-hero-michelle-ferrier-founder-of-trollbusters/
Vice [June 22, 2017] “How This ‘Online Pest Control’ Is Combating Trolls,” by Allison Tierney. https://www.vice.com/en_nz/article/pay597/how-this-online-pest-control-is-combating-trolls
Fair Planet.org. [August 29, 2016] “TrollBusters Combat Online Harassment of Women, With Love,” by Federica Tedeschi. http://www.fairplanet.org/story/trollbusters-combat-online-harassment-of-women-with-love/
The Mary Sue [June 17, 2016] “Michelle Ferrier’s TrollBusters Gives Women Writers “Pest Control” For Online Harassment,” by Maddy Myers: http://www.themarysue.com/michelle-ferriers-trollbusters-controls-online-harassment/
EContent [June 10, 2016] “A Conversation with TrollBusters Founder, Dr. Michelle Ferrier,” by Nancy Davis Kho (Q and A with Michelle Ferrier) http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/News/News-Feature/A-Conversation-with-TrollBusters-Founder-Dr-Michelle-Ferrier-111320.htm
New York Times [May 16, 2016] “Lessons for Stopping an Adult Cyberbully,” by Elizabeth Bernstein: http://www.wsj.com/articles/lessons-for-stopping-a-cyberbully-1463430999
NTEN (NonProfit Technology Network) [April 20, 2016] “Q&A With Trollbusters’ Founder, Michelle Ferrier,” by Steph Routh (with Michelle Ferrier) http://www.nten.org/article/qa-trollbusters-founder-michelle-ferrier/
The Daily Rumpus, [April 15, 2016] “A Hedge of Protection,” by Adam Keller: http://therumpus.net/2016/04/a-hedge-of-protection/
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media : New Challenges to Freedom of Expression: Countering Online Abuse of Female Journalists, “Beyond anecdotal reports: Some hard data about the online abuse of women journalists,” by Elisa Lee Munoz, International Women’s Media Foundation, Vienna, Austria. http://www.osce.org/fom/220411?download=true
November 29, 2016
The Guardian [April 13, 2016] “Online abuse: how women are fighting back”: by Leigh Alexander : Https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/13/online-abuse-how-women-are-fighting-back
All Digitocracy, [April 4, 2016] “Women journalists experience gendered attacks. for women journalists of color the abuse is often much worse,” by Sherri Williams:
Bustle [March 21, 2016] “TrollBusters Supports Women Writers On Twitter, Plus 3 More Resources To Deal With Online Harassment” by Suzanne Weiss: http://www.bustle.com/articles/149070-trollbusters-supports-women-writers-on-twitter-plus-3-more-resources-to-deal-with-online-harassment
Texas Monthly [March 15, 2016] “The SXSW Online Harassment Summit was a small but necessary step forward,” by Doyin Oyeniyi: http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/sxsw-interactives-online-harassment-summit-was-a-small-but-necessary-step-forward/
KEYE-TV [March 12, 2016] “Security tight at first ever SXSW Online Harassment Summit,” by Nadia Galindo: http://keyetv.com/news/local/security-tight-at-first-ever-sxsw-online-harassment-summit
The Daily Pot [February 18, 2016] “Troll Busters helps protect women writers from online bullies,” by Marisa Kabas: http://www.dailydot.com/irl/troll-busters-online-harassment/
Nieman LabFoundation at Harvard [February 16, 2016] “Brain food: Here are 15 smart people talking for 5 minutes each about journalism’s future: on fighting harassment,” by Joshua Benton. http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/02/brain-food-here-are-15-smart-people-talking-for-5-minutes-each-about-journalisms-future/
All Digitocracy, [December 3, 2015] “Women journalists of color hit harder by harassment,” by Tracie Powell: http://alldigitocracy.org/women-journalists-of-color-hit-harder-by-harassment/
All Digitocracy, [December 3, 2015] “Combating Hate Speech Against Women Journalists On Twitter,” by Tracie Powell: http://alldigitocracy.org/combating-hate-speech-against-women-on-twitter/
Glamour Magazine, [December 1, 2015] “3 Women Who Fight Back Against Online Bullying,” by Staff: http://www.glamour.com/story/fighting-internet-bullies
The Newspaper Guild, [November 1, 2015] “Women, Journalism, Harassment Panel, Dec. 1, by Staff : http://www.ohio-forum.com/2015/11/19642/
The Post [September 21, 2015] “TrollBusters, which aims to combat cyber harassment,” by Brian Fogel: http://www.thepostathens.com/michelle-ferrier/image_34170110-60a7-11e5-b43a-c791a438875b.html
Columbia Journalism Review, [July/August Edition , 2015] “The invaluable service of TrollBusters,” by by Lene Bech Sillesen, CJR Delacorte Fellow: http://www.cjr.org/analysis/the_invaluable_service_of_trollbuster.php
Knight Digital Media Center [March 4, 2015] “TrollBusters: Strategies to Preserve Constructive Online Discourse,” by Amy Gahran: http://www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/blogs/agahran/2015/03/trollbusters-strategies-preserve-constructive-online-discourse
TSOD (Training Services On Demand) [February 27, 2015] “Cyberbullied Educator Creates Trollbuster,” by Collin Hanner: http://tsod.com/cyberbullied-educator-creates-trollbusters/
International Press Institute (English version) [February 24, 2015] “New App to Fight Online Abuse,” by Louisa Reynolds: http://www.freemedia.at/newssview/article/guest-comment-new-app-to-fight-online-abuse.html
International Journalists’ Network (IJNet) [February 23, 2015] “Tips and Tools for Journalists to Deal with Online Harassment,” by Natasha Tynes: http://ijnet.org/en/blog/tips-and-tools-journalists-deal-online-harassment
Boston Globe [February 13, 2015] “TrollBusters app Goes After Misogyny Online,” by Louisa Reynolds: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/02/13/trollbusters-app-goes-after-misogyny/8duNEX8REvtvrTrPYpHSvN/story.html?p1=Article_Facet_Related_Article
WOUB Public Media: [February 11, 2015] “Interview with Michelle Ferrier and TrollBusters,” http://woub.org/2015/02/11/scripps-college-associate-dean-wins-innovation-award
Committee to Protect Journalists [February 10, 2015] “TrollBusters App Takes on those Seeking to Silence Women Writers,” by Louisa Reynolds: https://cpj.org/blog/2015/02/trollbusters-app-takes-on-those-seeking-to-silence.php
All Digitocracy [February 1, 2015] “Combatting Hate Speech Against Women on Twitter,” by Tracie Powell: http://alldigitocracy.org/combating-hate-speech-against-women-on-twitter/
ARTICLES IN FOREIGN PUBLICATIONS/ALTERNATE LANGUAGES:
Diario Digital: [February 9, 2015] “TrollBusters,” by Luis Assardo: http://www.diariodigital.gt/2015/02/09/trollbusters/
International Press Institute: [February 10, 2015] “New app to fight online abuse: TrollBusters to use technology to identify harassers, support victims,” by Louisa Reynolds (Spanish version): http://www.freemedia.at/newssview/article/blog-invitado-nueva-aplicacion-movil-para-luchar-contra-el-maltrato-online.html
Estrategia&Negocios: [February 13, 2015] “Herramienta para combater acoso cibernetico contra mujeres,” by Louisa Reynolds: http://www.estrategiaynegocios.net/tecnologia/seguridad/794743-330/herramienta-para-combatir-acoso-cibernético-contra-mujeres
Tecno.Americaeconomia.com: [March 31, 2015] “Revisa estos consejos y herramientas para enfrentar el acoiso en linea,” by IJNet http://tecno.americaeconomia.com/guias/revisa-estos-consejos-y-herramientas-para-enfrentar-el-acoso-en-linea
Panelist, RightsCon Toronto, “Take Back the Net: Innovations in Tackling Online Hate and Harassment,” May 17, 2018, Toronto, Canada
Panelist, National Press Club & PEN America. “Trolling the News: Protecting Journalists from Online Harassment,” April 27, 2018, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Speaker, Freedom Forum. March 2018, Las Naves Innovation Center of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Panelist, United Nations 62nd Commission on the Status of Women. “Tackling Gender Bias in MediaIndustries,” and “MeTooOnline: Workshopping Solutions to Counter Cyber Violence Against Women,” March 2018, UN Headquarters, New York, New York
Faculty, Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute, January 2013-2018, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona. https://cronkite.asu.edu/outreach/scripps-institute
Trainer, KQED. November 30, 2017.
Panelist, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, November 2, 2017, United Nations Headquarters, New York. https://www.ohio.edu/scrippscollege/news-story.cfm?newsItem=1A0D1F52-5056-A874-1DB2F6AAAE83F585
Trainer, Safety of Female Journalists Online, OSCE, October 2017.
Presenter, Journalism Interactive 2017, October 20-21, 2017, College Park, Maryland. http://journalisminteractive.com/2017/program/
Presenter, NABJ, “Journalists of Color and Online Harassment: Individual Impact and News Consequences,” August 9, 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana, https://www.slideshare.net/locallygrownnews/nabj-2017-online-harassment-and-journalists-of-color
Presenter, International Association for Media and Communication Research, “Women Journalists and Online Harassment: Impact and Consequences,” July 18, 2017, Cartagena, Colombia. https://www.slideshare.net/locallygrownnews/iamcr-women-journalists-and-online-harassment-impact-and-consequences
Trainer, Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media, March 19-24, 2017. https://www.poynter.org/news/poynter-announces-2017-leadership-academy-women-digital-media
Trainer, Kiplinger Fellows Program.
Invited Participant, Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, November 17-18, 2016, Brussels, Belgium. http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/just/item-detail.cfm?item_id=31198
Panelist. Social Media Weekend, “Online Harassment and TrollBusters,” June 10, 2016, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, New York.
Panelist. News Impact Summit. “Trolls, Corruption, Falsehood: Reporting ‘Truth’ in the Digital Age,” May 12, 2016, European Journalism Centre, London School of Economics, London.
Panelist. SXSW Online Harassment Summit 2016, “Tech and the United Front Against Online Hate”, March 12, 2016, SXSW, Austin, Texas.
Ignite Talk Speaker, Newsgeist 2015, “Hate Mail, Love Letters; Online Harassment and the Threat to Journalism,” November 11, 2015, Newsgeist/Google, Phoenix, Arizona. Video: https://youtu.be/EOxlq6VOIo0
Keynote Speaker. Online News Association 2015, “We Belong Here: Pushing Back Against Online Harassment”, September 25, 2015, Online News Association, Los Angeles, California. http://ona15.journalists.org/sessions/antiharassmentkeynote/#.V7iaZyMrJ0s
Presenter. World Press Freedom Day 2015, “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality & Media Safety in the Digital Age,” May 1, 2015, UNESCO, United Nations, New York.
OSCE #SOFJO Project
TrollBusters founder Michelle Ferrier speaks as part of the Safety of Female Journalists Online project for The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. [February, 2018] WATCH
TrollBusters founder Michelle Ferrier speaks on a panel for The International Association of Women in Radio & Television, “#MeTooOnline: Workshopping Solutions to Counter Cyber Violence Against Women.” [MARCH 2018] WATCH
Gender Links News Service
Segment on TrollBusters and the #MeToo movement and why Dr. Michelle Ferrier, founder of TrollBusters, feels there’s a privilege to being able to speak out and there are many silenced stories that the #MeToo movement has left behind. [APRIL 2018] LISTEN
Newsgeist 2015 Ignite Talk by Michelle Ferrier
2015 11 30 posted by Chris Shipley
“Hate Mail, Love Letters: Online Harassment and the Threat to Journalism”
2016 03 12 with Sook-Yin Lee (radio interview/audio clip)
“Trollbusters: Fighting to keep women writers online”
91.7, 88.5 Radio
2016 05 10 by Mark Heyne (audio clip)
“The Founder Of TrollBusters On Fighting Online Harassment”
2018 01 22
“City Visions: Combating Online Violence and Harassment”
April 2021: Dr. Michelle Ferrier and TrollBusters are featured in the PEN America report “No Excuse for Abuse.” Ferrier served as an expert reviewer for initial drafts of the report and provided strategies from TrollBusters’ work since 2015 in online harassment.