UNESCO event on online harassment of women journalists

Over 200 Member State representatives, journalists, and legal professionals attended UNESCO conference ’Standing up against online harassment of women journalist – What works?’ The conference looked into the impact of increasing online harassment towards female journalists and explored practical and legal solutions. A blogger and UN Women Representative from Netherlands, Clarice Gargard, said that attacks which women journalists experience online are ‘about who I am, not what I do.’ Gill Philips, The Guardian’s Director of Editorial and Legal Services, said that online harassment or women journalists is part of a wider ‘culture of intimidation’ noting that The Guardian has put in place guidelines on protecting and responding to the cases of abuse directed towards women. A lawyer, Martina Kronström, noted that judicial systems around the world are taking different paces when it comes to establishing line between ‘what constitutes harassment or freedom of speech’. Audrey Herblin-Stoop, Twitter’s Head of Public Policy in France and Russia, noted that users are demanding more accountability from companies. She also said that there is no need to separate online and offline violence, as ‘the online space is real life’.