The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> Hello. Hello. Good afternoon. I think we'll be starting. So good afternoon to those joining us here and welcome to all of you joining us online. As you know, democracy tribes when (?) can be heard both online and offline; however, we feel that (?) ‑‑ (no audio) ‑‑ since then, we have been working both at the policy level and at the community level ‑‑
>> I will invite our first speaker, Julie. I will start with you. Julie is the deputy Vice President for global research at the international center for journalists and Julie has been working now for many years on the topic of gender online violence against journalists and she worked with UNESCO, a partnership on a research project called the chilling. Julie was hoping that she could share with us some of the findings of this report. What are the most pressing concerns facing women online today particularly in terms of abuse perpetuated on online platforms.
>> We have been researching for UNESCO since 2019 the phenomena of ‑‑
>> Julie, could you speak again?
>> Julie: Yes. So I had delayed research as Paula indicated. I have been independently studying online violence against women journalists and I am a journalist myself since 2010. Since 2019, we have been conducting a global study which covered 15 countries and went beyond the borders of those 15 countries. It also involved a survey of over 1,000 people. Over 710 of who were women journalists. We interviewed over 180 journalists and experts from around the world. As I said, producing this research and publishing from it. The study is called the Chilling. ICF published the study on November 2 and UNESCO has ranged a whole rage of outputs and recommendations that will be discussed later during this panel. To give you a sense of the gravity of the situation, I think it's best to emphasize a series of statistical points which really, you know, make concrete the scale and vers onity of online violence against women journalists. We found that 73% of women journalists that we surveyed had experienced online violence in the their work. Now, that is a very well-known statistic. Perhaps well known is that 20% of the women journalists we surveyed said that the online violence they had experienced had manifested in physical ways. So it had spilled offline into harassment, abuse or attacks and I think the most serious concern that we have to confront and mitigate is this trajectory of the online to off line violence. And I say that not wanting to diminish the very important and conclusion that the most sort of significant impact in terms of the school of experience was actually serious mental health impacts. So I don't want to undercut that important finding to somehow diminish the seriousness of mental health impacts psychological injury including PTSD among women journalists. But online violence, aids and abets for offline harm, offline attacks against women journalists. We therefore need to work to try to stem online violence, but also to try to measure and monitor online violence with a view trying to predict and then perhaps prevent some of these offline manifestations. I think some of the other really important findings and to the role of state actors including extra territorial attacks on journalists and political leaders we see patents where political leaders including presidents will instigate or flare online attacks of those online attacks create an environment and enabling environment for the persecution, potential violence and the environments that enables the kind of criminalization of journalism and journalists as we have seen in the case of Maria, the noble laureate who was first attacked online with a trending hashtag arrest Maria and within two years, we see the situation where in 2019, she was arrested and ultimately she was convicted. We see in the chilling the two big data case studies that really clearly demonstrate the scale and vers onity of those attacks and Maria's is a case in point. So I might Lee it there. Feel free to follow up.
>> Paula. Thank you so much, Julie, for providing an image of the scale of the problem and the diversity of the harms that really arise it. Very interesting to find about the online and offline and hope you can explore that when we open up for discussion with the audience here and online. I will give the chance to our second speaker who also bring us an overview of what is going on at the national level here in Africa. I invite Don PILO. That is here with me in person. Please, your work really covers southern Africa, right? From the experience of your work, what are some of the most pressing safety challenges to women journalists online particularly on social platforms following up to what you share?
>> Thank you very much, and thank you Paula, for leading this conversation. what Julie already said, she laid the foundation from a global perspective but you realize that most of these issues are quite similar. And I want to speak while we have noted so many friends, I want to speak to a receipt survey that we did just recently. We had a meeting, follow up meeting, a validation meeting at a meeting that we had for the Africa commemoration of the UN plan of action on the safety of journalists. That's where we had a validation meeting and a training of female journalists. But it was on a receipt survey. I am mentioning this one because Julie spoke about evidence‑based approach. And what we noticed in our surveys we surveyed 11 countries within the southern African region and this was a survey specifically for female journalists. All of them were coming out with specific feedback on what they feel are threats to the severity online. We have been having so many conversations around fragmentation and the likes. The main key argument being that the internet has created a global village. Right? But particularly from the perspective, that also means particular female journalists and that means the internet has created an open space for different perpetrators to have access to an individual. So you find that from the perspective of perpetrators, we have seen so many ordinary citizens being consumers of news being some of the perpetrators of violence towards female journalists and think some of the women threatening journalists but also particularly volatile environments like election seasons, for example. You will note that in the region between now and 2024, we have so many elections coming up. In this season, we have political supporters and leaders also posing a threat to the safety of female journalists online. Most of the threats also centered on the issue of media polarization that if a female journalist is from state media, any opinion of you that me is shares online is being attacked on that BASIS. If you are from private media, you are equally attacked on that BASIS. So that's one of the key issues and Facebook and Twitter came out to be one of the key platforms where, you know, throats to female journalists have been noted. To iterate, some of the threats not only understand online. There have been threats that you can tell there's an intention to perpetrate them in the physical space. And, you know, I think one thing I want to emphasize around that is what is very clear is that there's been a normalization of online gender base violence particularly towards female journalists. We have seen in the public space so many conversations that are on the argument that if you're a female journal it will, you're a public figure. You should be able to contain any form of threats and harassment that comes your way because you are a public figure. So that is what we have been noting. I want to emphasize two key issues from southern Africa in terms of the forms of this violence that's been coming in and the forms in which the threats have been coming in. One of them is doxxing. Personal information is being released online. And in extreme circumstances, you see individuals even posting information about a female journalist child in the paternity of that child. That brings in the be of the protection of children online. In most cases, doesn't end up being about the female journalist, but people related to that female journalist. Also another key area is this information is a tool violence towards female journalist. That's been quite prevalent in the region and I want to commend also because I know digital partnership with Facebook they did a report which focused on online gender‑base violence for countries in southern Africa and there are so many issues that are coming out which are particularly generalized to women, but also quite common for female journalists. And one aspect I want to raise because it's also not ‑‑ while it is not specific to female journalists, it is also an issue that came out quite frequently was the issue of digital surveillance that also there's been an increase in online monitoring by stayses and a threat to the female journalists and those that are expressing divergent views and opinions. I'm sure most of you will record that for this year's and the focus was on journalists and the digital seat. The female journalists we height there's an increase in digital surveillance. You expect the use of Pegasus or some sophisticated way, but some others, there is monitoring what you are posting and having some people aid the political supporters coming in and threatening you based on ever a tweet or post that a female journalist would have been online. Just in brief, these are some issues we have noted from a survey, but also from the different reports across the southern African region as far as the severity of female journalists online is concerned.
>> Paula: Thank you so much. All these violations being rendered invisible because they were not recognized. Now we call your attention to most receipt threat of normalization of these types of violations. It is ongoing struggle for sure. But now I want to start to move on to discuss a little bit the types of responses we could have in relation to this problem and I will invite Gilema. And GUIHERME: It is how to address online violence. So I was hoping you could share with us some of these recommendations.
>> GUILHERME: Sure. I am really glad to see this issue is being covered on the overall discussions of the Internet governance forum. We also need to treat this as part of the internet governance discussion and then I would say probably Julie will add to that that it we can say there is a cross cutting elements throughout the 100 plus recommendations is that we should treat these as a structural issue. So we need to have institutional responses and in the case of the digital environment, this is about internet properties. So we can't separate those things as if it was a minor issue or a side issue to the overall problem of the digital ecosystem in protecting journalists overall, but in this case, women journalists to be able to operate their job in going forward with a free, independent approval in journalism, but doing that in a safe manner. I won't have time in my five minutes to go through 100 plus recommendations, but what I want to do is give perspective on how I structure and maybe later on, we can further discuss some of these points. For me, one of the most important things here is if you read the recommendations that will be soon available in all the six official languages, you will see several of those things we already have an educated guess that are important things to communicate. But what is really different here is that now those policy recommendations they are evidence‑based. Due to all the huge effort that Julie did on a quantitative side, but also on an important qualitative side and for me, the most important element here is the voices of the victims is really understanding what is going on to recommend something that has both feet on the floor and one of the important things here is that when we are recommending things for the news rooms or for the internet, this is really related to the real problems that are taking place when these women are being subject to these kind of violence. So the structure of the recommendations therefore are very much connected with the findings of the study. So we ever doing recommendations to the news organizations and if you look into the survey, we will see that the women journalists are saying that unfortunately, they don't have support from their news Oh, when those things are taking place. And obviously they have recommendations to the internet companies and the lack of transparency of those companies in dealing with these issues or the absence of risk assessments. So I think we've going to discuss later on. Also already appointed by the evidences of the survey. Then we have a series of recommendations for legal (?). If we don't have prosecutors and judges capable of understanding the problems when they reach the judicial system, this shows they almost 100% level of impunity ins cases of digital violence against women journalist and it's because this. They don't really understand how to cope with these kinds of issues and then the recommendations for governments, we need to have policy discussions related to these issues and to the academy world and Civil Society, but also for us, the UN system when we first approved the UN plan of action, the issue of impunity 10 years ago, this issue was not cleared at all they did because we were not good enough in pre‑ending what was going on in the digital debate regarding safety of women in journalists in particular. So we have a duty now. We have a homework in the next phase of the implementation of the UN plan of action on how to really integrate this recommendations in our multi‑lateral policy. So the overall idea of prevention, protection and prosecution of the crimes remain, the issue is that doing this prevention, prevention and prosecution is not the same when we are dealing with these terms. So we need to incorporate this 107 recommendations for preventing and protecting and prosecuting the crimes against journalists, but this is a strong gender perspective that this is a study offered to us. So I will stop here and then we can go into details about the different set of recommendations. Back to you, Paula.
>> Paula. Thank you. Julie, you have co‑authors these recommendations. So is there any specific set of recommendations you would like to tell us a bit more? Would you like to follow up with GUILHERME's coms?
>> Julie: Some of the recommendations that GUILHERME has. The platforms were too slow to respond frequently didn't respond at all and when they did respond, the action was largely ineffective. So this is an area that requires really determined sort of restructure with regards to understanding the need to specifically protect women journalists especially in the face of online violence, but also to do things like ensure that, you know, support services provided by the platforms to deal with serious cases of online threats are available in multiple languages. Not just in English, which has been the dominant language. We have recommended that a human in the loop approach is absolute necessary. We can't rely on algorithmic approaches alone with these issues and you need specialists knowledge at the platform level when it comes to content moderation decisions, specialist knowledge includes gender awareness and also includes an understanding of the protections that are afforded to journalists and women journalists especially under international human rights. And the implications for press freedom when the platforms allow threats and hate speech against women journalists to go viral and the ways in which that can enable all matter of other harms.
We also emphasize the need for transparency, but not just transparency regarding the actions taken, but also the actions that have not been taken. So we need to understand what the appeal protocols are and there needs to be the pocket of rapid escalation when there are serious attacks. There needs to be access to the data for researches to be able to monitor and respond and recommend certain actions. At the moment, where a lot of the progress that's being made is being rolled back most notably with the public and pleasure of triteer and responsibilities and improvements that are being made there. So it's a very urge want moment for the consideration of the specific recommendations for the platforms but also for states. I alluded before to the role and function of political actors in instigating and amplifying online. One of the data points to highlight from the survey, the global survey that we did was 37% of the women journalists surveys said that the top perpetrators were political actors and that included those in elected office, political party leaders and so on. And interconnected to this is the statistic that one of the women and journalists said they'd been attacked in the content of coordinated misinformation campaigns. All of this, this is pointed. I'm pointing, we heard, to provide more granular experience. I can assure you based on the data we have been swimming in, the toxic dalla over the first three years demonstrates this is indeed, a global fen's MENA. One of the recommendations directs towards states they introduce systems and protocols to restrain political actors from targeting women journalists and acts of violence. They're following an investigation into such acts. We made that recommendation because we kept finding evidence from Brazil to the UK with such incidents occurring and the ways in which more violence there is online with potentially. And then we have the other really challenging problem which requires some careful consideration into governmental level and also within sort of regional bodies of state actors regarding the extra territorial targeting of journalists.
>> You are muted again, Julie.
>> Julie. Can you hear me now? I am here. I'm not actually muted.
>> Paula: You can try again?
>> Julie: Yes. Everybody online can hear me. You can hear me now? Can you hear me? We lost the room. Do we chat amongst ourselves? I'm being muted and unmuted by the host. Let's see if that works. May be I'll just ‑‑
>> Paula: In the benefit of time while they try to solve the problem, I will go back to the room. Donpillow, please. So let's continue to discuss a little bit about the needed responses. So I was wondering based on the work that MISA is doing, what have you proposed in terms of response? And also what have you seen around in the region as good practices of good examples that we can see of responses for the online gender information issue against journalists?
>> Thank you very much. I think I want to start by congratulating colleagues. It is best practice to have evidence‑based approach is quite important to have research that supports any advocacy intervention is quite important. I think on the foundations of such research and such evidence that is when advocacy work and also done. I want to commend that because I think that is one of the breast where that we have seen. This is the switch we take you but particularly focusing on knowledge production and knowledge sharing. A research is always a good foundational BASIS to inform in the next steps. The safety of female journalists include this issue of the focus area in a campaign that he did a literacy campaign. We've focusing on five countries. I think I am forgetting one. We claim Tanzania is ours, but anyway ‑‑
[ Laughter ]
we had a campaign which focused on those five countries and I was informed by a research in those countries and this is one of the areas that we focused on. Based on that we also engage in Civil Society and the media and those specific countries and this we did in the period between 2020 and 2021. We realized that actually there's lots of work to be done in terms of sensitization. You will find that most of the jurisdictions, the key stakeholders are not fully aware and embraced at this issues of digital rights. So the panel of digital rights was also very progressive in terms of turning and speaking about all the issues that related digital rights including the gravity of female journalists online. Safety and secret trainings are important. We tried to take a wholistic view. Partnering with other key stakeholders that are very technical offering tools for digital safety. We have also tried to complement that with trainings around physical security. In cases where there has been violation in trauma and the likes, psycho social support. So safety and security trainings are quite important. This is something that it can be a continuous process. You know? We have young journalists coming into the area and they would need this training. We have student journalists who also sometimes find them in the front line and also doing the work who would also need support. Those are the ones because they're more outspoken and given more in our approaches as Lit is always important to categorize what nature of support is needed for this group of the journal journalists. Trainings are quite important and we need to leverage on international instruments and standards that we have and recently when we had an engagement. We also tried to focus particularly on the receipt resolution of the SCHPR on the protection of women and digital violence. We did have ‑‑ policymakers, but also Civil Society from different countries, the 8 countries and we did foggyus on that absolutely. The picture actors that focuses on the safety. There is more work to be done to capitalize on that. But just to highlight that going forward, I think there is still more work to be done particularly in collaboration with the social media and the tech supports. Some of the threats are coming, sometimes they are presented. The platforms do not have the capacity with local textures and nuances. We work towards finding resolutions that ensure that they also address there are different regions in different countries, but in some of our 39ings, we also focus on imparting information on the guidelines and the safety features on the platforms. But the processed itself particularly, for example, reporting mechanism is not using friendly. So there might have been an opportunity for us to start thinking about ensuring that also make sure they're using friendly to the different users. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Don Pilo. You have been engaged and so many ideas that come from that and from APC, I have to say we are particularly interested in seeing how the implementation of the African resolution will come up. And how we can engage in that. Check if Julie can ‑‑ again?
>> Julie: I think I didn't to make the point and I'm not quite sure where you lost me, but we have a serious and urgent with regards to extra territorial attacks on journalists. One case that the chilling highlight in ‑‑ they're being targeted in ways that are designed to inflame attacks on the journalists in an online environment, but also with associated offline harm. So they are being targeted online in parallel with examples of ‑‑ believe it that's published online and being posted to the schools or to the than at the schools that they attend in London. I think this goes back to the point that was discussed earlier in particular, women radiates and it radiates to sources, to audience members that may be supportive of the journalists and colleagues and most insidiously of the families those target. We did find evidence of that occurring once case comes to mind where they were credible rape threats against the baby of the journalist Patricia deaf Lynn. But those kinds of threats were being made in every single cutery. That's quite chilling, but the demonstrates the scale of this problem and real underlines the point that we have to keep making. Online violence is not virtual, does not stay online.
>> I'll go back to you. You let me know. I understand that, the idea of risk assessments came through. So I was wondering. I understand that UNESCO is already working on a proposal for a risk assessment framework. So could you tell us a bit more about what exactly that is and what is the approach that UNESCO is taking to risk assessment
>> Sure. First thing the report, the chilling and the recommendations already a very interesting set of questions ‑‑ let 53 just take a step back to say that when we ‑‑ when the UNESCO 193 member states endorse the principles of the dinglaeration of information as a possible good, one of the specific photographs of that deckoeration is precisely the need ever the Internet companies to carry on human rights metmet. This process, this risk Amentments we need to understand exactly how they're doing it and we are based on this principles that we're endorsed boy our member states. We are going to start reducing a series of guidelines for internet companies to implement or to carry on risk assessments and one of that is about safety of journalists online. Obviously with the specific cross cutting issue of the women journalists online, but just to make sure that we are going to also produce orders to risk assessments. For instance, Wendy, they're taking decisions to get information or your elections and so on and so fort. But for this particular discussion during global consultations related to the anniversary of will un plan of action, they should have immunity. We already started consuming on different aspects on how risk assessments. It is important for them to offer guidance. It is their decision if they want to used guidance on how they should look into this problem with human rights based approach, but these guidances are also very important for the other actors including the Civil Society to hold these companies accountable. Because when they say how are they interacting with these kinds of issues, in this case the safety of women journalism online. It is important to have some guidance to ask the question questions to the creme and held them accountable to this issue. We're repeating the work that Julie interest her colleagues did. It already includes a very interesting. Back to you, Paula.
>> Paula: I think this is a great opportunity to hear from you and you shouldn't have any inputs in relation to this specific proposal, this special the floor now to here about all the others were here. There are journalists recommendations and best practice please just raise your hand Rachel will look at those questions of
>> Okay. My name is Manga. I am running a small into how the safety happens in journalists? And for me, journalists from Mongolia and it looks like a nice Democratic country, but we still assault and online harmissMent. They didn't know it was like a threat for their safety because they are tooade to they just working on the pay heads and ask there are papers on the ground and all those papers research doesn't really seven countries and they're pop for example, when you're talking about safety on journalists, usually because you're working interest you have conflict and we're talking about and I went to CHOM in the case, we have almost like the physical assault every year, but it never, ever reaches any comuwork to enroll equal opportunity, equal participation for the journalists in assessment and how do you try to left I will work on improve the effectiveness more protecting will the Jonalist. And international
>> Paula: Thank you. I think I will collect two or three more questions and then ‑‑ there's another one from the chat. You want to share that it seems abusers can act with a relative immunity to attack not just from a law, but in terms of community standards. So what should are done about that? I'll give it back to speakers and then you can already wrap up with final remarks because we really need to leave the room in time because we have another session starting in 10 minutes. So please.
>> Who do you want to go first, Paula? I have two questions here. Sorry. My name is Rachel. The women already in television, Kenya. It's a follow up sponge the government that we communities law enforcement because there's some time back of dealing with issues against him. Seen the reports had no idea what I was supposed to do. They did not recognize what online violence is all about. I think there is about. They train to be able to identify, to be able to prosecute and to be able to we had a case not that long ago. It was very gender biased in terms of the way the. There should be a little solidarity. As a physician from the junior of journalist, going with all to the court sustain with it and make sure they were walking. They don't need to be harassed. I do not have an answer, but what kind of ‑‑ you had protection coming especially when those attacks come online and especially when the work that you have done. Just a quick one that I wanted to sick we have been working with the university students in Kenya. Anyone coming into that industry, we were able to stand and recognize the issues of online violence. So once they know how to respond, then they come out and speak even about offline. This is a way of reaching out and sharing with others that might fall in the same chart.
>> Please the last question and then can you stop with Donpilo, okay? For the answers.
>> It's working, yeah. Thank you very much. My name is Diana Barbosa. I also work for reporter without borders. And I just would like to make a comment because when you look at the murder data about journalists, we see that the most part of them and some part of the world where 90% are men. We have a wrong picture with the violence is we think that since the fillings were like two men, we don't see the violence going on this year, we have monitored the accounts of 120 journalists during the elections in Brazil and in fine most of them were mood as you mentioned here made by supporters of the still President who lost the elections. But the most part of them were against women. Each week you had to Santa on the website if you wanted to check. They're available in English. Each week you were against the women journalists. I think auto the same time that we need (?) public policies and mechanisms that we have in other words of the world. We really need a specific one. I think we have been in touch with social platforms for a long time and sometimes they only respond to legal frame of works. I would like to hear from you if it's possible. How are you Connecting with this idea of the risk assessment and the support that the by UNESCO is regular the frame of work and we need to go a little bit further than transparency and they're willing to help. I think we really need a platform regulation. It has to do with freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
>> We have five minutes. Please be thankful of the time and we will you utilize minutes left. But just to say I know, so while there's immunity, the journalists and the question of the female journalists is of concern and also the when there were reports to make reports, you find that law enforcement is not where that is also recommended even in the resolution. Policies and laws should be particularly elaborated and specifically in terms of what gender violence is and what falls ‑‑ I think it will help to address some of the cases where about we put that made, there is also highlight multi-stakeholder approach is important. While we're speaking about the safety of journalists, I want to focus on the safety of ouch. We ready to to approach on ‑‑ thank you.
>> Obviously I can't respond all the questions in one minute. So I would say that you, everyone, has UNESCO colleagues in the room. Feel free to approach them and we can continue this discussion offline. But very briefly, three facilities. The first question from Mongolia. The answer is you were saying with cost do much more to develop in the group. The recommendation will be available at least in the six official languages of the United States. They are available in 13 languages in the platform of the knight center. But anyways, you are right. We can do more and we need to get this kind of input to see how we can improve the situation.
On the issue of law enforcement prosecution services relation to the companies, the short answer is yes, but it's more complex than that. We really need to offer to the law enforcement the prosecution services the specific knowledge to do that, but in line with freedom of expression and standards. Journalists, and women journalists are being attacked online. This is also related to the sources of information, sources they exchanged through online services. We need to be very careful in the way their data is shared apparently with the idea of prosecuting the crime. So how prosecution services and law enforcement do that and at the same time protect sources of journalists is an important issue among others. We need to go deeper in that and there are recommendations about that in the chilling for the legal services. And the final thing on BS question. Yes. The regulatory freedom that UNESCO is consulting, we did add some of the ‑‑ I will stop here. Glad to further discuss offline with all of you.
>> Paula: Thank you. There is another colleague and would like to add a little bit.
>> Sorry. Can you hear me? Mine is just a response and how they're doing it in Africa. After all this research, after everything is done, then what the UN plan of action NAFTA research that we have had and so many weekends together. Victoria calls. That was last month and we agreed to form six committees that include the year analyst themselves, the digital platforms and every other person that is solved and there are and one of them is about (?) framework for monitoring and reporting the violation. As much as we are discussing, we do know that different partners are using frameworks and all of them has started a framework for monitoring and you put team. Of stove the subcommittees in Africa are going to be developing a mechanism for monitoring, annually and reporting on safety of journalists. Africa themselves have come together, educators that have been peered reviewed on how to monitor and report violations. Every year we'll be releasing a report and UNESCO is going to be supporting this process.
>> Paula: Thank you. I am leading at the moment a piece of work for the OSC with colleagues from the University of Cheffield. We are developing a monitor tool for hopefully you'll here more about that. I agree with the colleague. It can be see research peg published, but there is no action around you. I would say that it is vital that you have a research base going forward with interaction and they're action oriented and it's of the why things need to be done and that replies hard evidence. Secondly, especially in this area where of it comes through. You need to have robust protocols in place and as we have flagged in the recommendations there's a 25 step tool which can guide regulatory and roll and response to gender price. we found through the research examples including one from Serbia where a high tech crimes division of the police service required journalists to take screen job and to, you know, present those to the consider thes,ef ‑‑ there are probabilities with capability and capacity. We found evidence not cooperating with legitimate police investigation. But that obviously needs to be done with one eye on the manipulation of those process. Accounts for example are being we have to figure out a way forward that's action focused.
>> Thank you, Julie. This session is being part of the processes, ongoing work, when I say you are very much open to discussions is so we can continue also post Addis working together on this agenda. So I thank you all.