Operational responses to online harassment
From election campaigns in the US to news sites, community forums and social media in every country on the planet, online harassment is widespread and rampant. Whether they are systematic, large-scale smear campaigns or individuals targeting those they disagree with, the rise in threats and attacks against anyone who sticks out their neck, who are critical, in opposition, or simply do not conform to normative standards, is alarming.
The attacks are often devastating and with long-term impact on people's ability to speak out or simply exist in the online space. Many of those targeted are women, who are often not targeted because they hold an unpopular opinion, but simply because they are women.
The problems are well-known. But how should we respond? What are the realistic, constructive responses to mitigate, prevent and protect?
This session will brainstorm on these questions with the help of our great panel, looking for useful, realistic ways to respond from a variety of key angles - from human rights and legal perspectives, from a technology platform and from an online community perspective.
We've got a great panel lined up:
- Hyra Basit, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
Instrumental in establishing Pakistan and the region's first online harassment helpline, which offers digital security support, legal advice and emotional trauma assistance, Hyra has extensive experience in the field of cyber harassment and how to address it.
- Ellery Roberts Biddle, Advocacy Director, Global Voices & Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, US
As the chief steward of Global Voices’ Advox project, Ellery facilitates a network of bloggers and advocates reporting on threats to online speech, sharing tactics for protecting themselves and their communities online, and supporting efforts to strengthen Internet policy and practice worldwide.
- Marcel Leonardi, Senior Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel at Google Brazil
Marcel is a public policy professional, attorney and law professor with over a decade of Internet law experience, specialising in the research, analysis, litigation, communication, and support of complex legal and policy positions on privacy and data protection, intermediary liability, copyright, freedom of speech, competition and other issues related to the Internet.
- Jonathan McCully, Legal Officer at Media Legal Defence Initiative, UK
Jonathan is the Legal Officer at the Media Legal Defence Initiative, a UK-based charity that provides legal support to protect journalists, bloggers and independent media outlets around the world. He works on the organisation's strategic litigation and the delivery of its training programmes.
- 'Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria
A social entrepeneur and recognised scholar, speaker and writer, 'Gbenga leads Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, one of the leading ICT for development groups in Africa which connects underserved people with ICT-enabled opportunities.
Background: This session is organised by the Copenhagen-based media development non-profit, International Media Support (IMS) which supports local media in countries affected by armed conflict, human insecurity and political transition. Across four continents, IMS helps to promote press freedom, strengthen professional journalism and ensure that media can operate in challenging circumstances. You can read more about us here: http://www.mediasupport.org