This type of training is addressed to both journalists and editors and aims to provide information about online harassment as a phenomenon: the patterns of online harassment in the specific country, who are the actors behind most of the coordinated online campaigns, and what to do in case of being targeted.

Learning about how online campaigns aim to discredit and silence critical journalism prepare journalists to react swiftly in case of an incident. It also helps them to recognize if they or any of their colleagues have been targeted with this sort of online violence.

The following items should be included in this type of training:

  • The mechanics of how attacks on social media take place.
  • Current “hot topics” that provoke attacks and the most common types of attacks (e.g., insults, implied threats, death threats)
  • The specific groups or political parties that behave aggressively toward content published by the media outlet
  • Information about the media outlet’s safety protocol, both online and offline.
  • Best practices for using social media
  • First-hand testimony from journalists who have experienced online harassment on how they coped or cope with attacks
  • An overview of the possibilities to take legal action for different types of comments
  • A reinforcement that online harassment against journalists is an attack on the entire organization and that management stands behind its journalists.

This training should also part of the induction process for new staff members.

Actors: Member of the Online Safety Team and experienced journalists.