PARIS: Nearly three-quarters of female journalists say they have been the victim of online harassment and for 20 percent it has turned into offline attacks, according to a UNESCO study published on Friday.
The violence ranged from verbal abuse (49%) to threats of physical violence (25%) and sexual assault (18%). These included threats to damage his professional reputation, digital security attacks and the use of manipulative maps.
Based on a survey of 901 journalists in 125 countries, the report said, “These methods of attack are becoming more complex and evolving with technologies such as artificial intelligence.”
“Many of the women journalists who took part in the survey said they had been targeted under a well-organized digital disinformation campaign,” it said. While 64 percent of white women journalists reported online abuse, the figure rose to 81 percent for blacks, 81 percent for natives, and 88 percent for Jewish women.
The study found that gender-based stories lead to abuse, and that lesbian or bisexual women face more harassment than race. The report added that many women resorted to self-censorship because they felt they were not protected by their companies.
“Many media employers still seem reluctant to take online violence seriously, in line with the apparent failure of Internet communications companies – whose platforms and apps target, harass and intimidate female journalists.” I get a lot of help – “the study said.
It called for strong legislation against online abuse, an end to attacks on women journalists by politicians, and strong support from employers and Internet companies for their female staff.