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"You have to prove the threat is real": Understanding the needs of Female Journalists and Activists to Document and Report Online Harassment

Leslie Park
Unknown, ACM, Unknown (2022), Unknown


Online harassment is a major societal challenge that impacts multiple communities. Some members of community, like female journalists and activists, bear significantly higher impacts since their profession requires easy accessibility, transparency about their identity, and involves highlighting stories of injustice. Through a multi-phased qualitative research study involving a focus group and interviews with 27 female journalists and activists, we mapped the journey of a target who goes through harassment. We introduce PMCR framework, as a way to focus on needs for Prevention, Monitoring, Crisis and Recovery. We focused on Crisis and Recovery, and designed a tool to satisfy a target’s needs related to documenting evidence of harassment during the crisis and creating reports that could be shared with support networks for recovery. Finally, we discuss users’ feedback to this tool, highlighting needs for targets as they face the burden and offer recommendations to future designers and scholars on how to develop tools that can help targets manage their harassment.