A New York Times article posted this morning misrepresented Hollaback!’s online harassment work through its HeartMob program. The reporter interviewed Hollaback! board member and HeartMob co-founder Courtney Young, who spoke about HeartMob’s evolution as it contends with harassers and works to support people experiencing harassment.
HeartMob is an online platform first launched in January 2016 that provides real-time support to individuals experiencing online harassment and gives bystanders concrete actions they can take to help reduce trauma for those directly affected. It also provides technical and social media security guides, self-care resources, and referrals to other organizations that can provide counseling and legal services.
The New York Times article misquotes Young as saying that HeartMob is “stepping back and figuring out the best way to understand how to help people who are harassed online” because aggressors attempted to create fake accounts and shut down the site. In fact, HeartMob has never shut down. The site has had two iterations and numerous security audits with technical security experts, as we take the safety and security of our users very seriously. People experiencing harassment and bystanders who want to lend a hand continue to participate through the platform. Hollaback! has no plans to take HeartMob offline, and continues to counter online harassment by building community, offering new tools and information, and training and mobilizing bystanders to intervene.
We look forward to a correction by the New York Times.