Online trolling of women journalists on social media and websites targets women from all political, religious and ethnic backgrounds. One of the main aspect of these attacks is that they are gendered and sexualized.

One of the difficulty women face is that they do not get the support from colleagues and newsrooms that they should. Few report the attacks and, if they are reported, very little action is taken. An IFJ survey conducted in 2018 showed that only half of the victims of online abuse (53%) reported the attacks to their media management, union or the police, and in two-thirds of the cases nothing was done. 

This year's IFJ campaign on the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls on 25th November will encourage media organisations and journalists' trade unions worldwide to take concrete steps to eradicate online trolling and make clear to women journalists subject to abuse that they will  not be left alone. It will also be an opportunity to join the UN 16 days of action and campaign for the ratification of the ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment which tackles violence and harassment in all their forms, including online.

Online trolling is a health and safety issue and must be considered as such by the media industry. Media employers have a duty to ensure a safe workplace and provide a solid mechanism for women members to come forward and be protected when subject to online abuse.

There must be no impunity for online trolling. Join the campaign and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Useful reading

IFJ guidelines for media and unions to combat online harassment of women journalists

IFJ/SAMSN Byte Back Campaign 

Byte Back: Draft IFJ Online Harassment Social Media Policy (for media houses)

IFJ Guidelines for reporting on violence against women

Combatting online harassment of women journalists (IFJ Byte Back campaign)

UNESCO Report on Violence Against Women Journalists  

DART Center for Journalism and Trauma

Violence and harassment against women in the news media: a global picture (IWMF/INSI)

Countering Online Abuse of Female Journalists (OSCE)

A High Price to Pay – the economic case for preventing violence against women

Campaign against online abuse

Virtual knowledge centre to end violence against women and girls (UN Women)

Everyday Sexism

Take action!

Talk to your media

Set up a meeting with media organisations of your country to address the issue of women online trolling, the effects it has on their female workers, explain that it is a safety and health issue and offer to help develop solid policies to counter online abuse.

Launch a campaign against online trolling

Set up an online campaign page including useful numbers for those abused, conduct a survey among your members, use testimonials to raise attention on this phenomenon, lobby your government to ratify ILO convention 190.

Share your best practices

Your experience matters! Use 25 November to share your best practices to fight online trolling using #VAW #YouAreNotAlone #StopOnlinetrolling.

Join the 16 days of activism

Take part in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. Organise events, discussions, demonstrations  to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world and fight online trolling. Support the ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment by downloading and sharing the global unions toolkit.