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PEN America Publishes Online Harassment Field Manual

Saturday 21 April 2018, by siawi3


PEN America Publishes Online Harassment Field Manual

By John Maher

Apr 20, 2018

In an effort to combat harassment in the creative fields, PEN America has published, on its website, an Online Harassment Field Manual. The resource is intended, the nonprofit said, to “equip and empower writers, journalists, and all those active online with practical tools and tactics to defend against hateful speech and trolling.” It launched this morning in New York as part of the PEN World Voices Festival.

"Online harassment poses a clear threat to free expression, as evidenced by the results of our survey,†said PEN CEO Suzanne Nossel. “As an organization of and for writers, PEN America is especially disturbed by the ways in which online harassment affects their work. Journalists and writers whose web presence is a professional imperative can’t be left defenseless in the face of rampant digital intimidation, provocation, and vitriol when they dare to stick their heads above the parapet.â€

Among the resources included in the manual are:

First-hand accounts of online harassment and their aftermath
Step-by-step guides for enhancing cybersecurity and preventing doxing
An online harassment glossary with proposed responses
Ideas for leveraging online writing communities to combat online harassment
Tips for combating hate speech with counterspeech
Guidelines for allies and witnesses interested in intervening in online harassment
Best practices for employers of writers and journalists to improve institutional support during episodes of online abuse
Information about online harassment and the law

The manual also offers recommendations directed to employers, tech companies, and law enforcement, in addition to its content geared toward writers. The manual is available here.

[(Writers and journalists are facing unprecedented levels of online hate and harassment.
While there are no easy answers, this digital Field Manual contains effective strategies and resources that writers, journalists, their allies, and their employers can use to defend against cyber hate and fight online abuse.)]