23.01.2020.

How to protect yourself from abuse online?

Technological advancements and the development of the world wide web have forever changed the way in which journalists communicate with their audiences. The internet revolution has brought forth numerous challenges and dilemmas about maintaining a balance between the unbridled concept of “freedom online” and stopping abuse such as hate speech, disinformation, proliferation of illegal content etc. Content created by journalists is provided for all to consume in the online space - on media websites and social media alike, which makes it available for direct criticism from the public, who can do so anonymously, with no fear of repercussion for committing what would otherwise be considered criminal offences, such as threatening someone, using hate speech, or exerting pressure. 
  
The general consensus is that attacks on journalists are frequent, but rarely taken seriously. More often than not they go unreported, and even more rarely are they investigated by the police; and the ones that make it to court are usually neglected.

In order to help our colleges more easily recognize online abuse, and subsequently report it, we have prepared a manual called “Mechanisms for protection against abuse online, a manual for journalists” which we hope will help raise awareness and prevent further incidents from occurring. It is available for download here.

The manual contains advice and instructions teaching journalists how to recognize online abuse. One of   the first steps is raising awareness about this problem. The manual was created and printed as part of the “Promoting Media and Information Literacy and Strengthening Independence of Media in the Western Balkans” project which is implemented with the financial support of the Foreign Commonwealth Office.