To better support victims of online harassment, we’ve partnered with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) to form focus groups of women and gender-expansive journalists to help further develop HeartMob thanks to a generous gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Over the next year we’ll roll out a series of updates to HeartMob designed to improve user experience and deepen its impact.
Our goal is simple: we want to better serve journalists experiencing online harassment and create a safe space for victims to seek help.
HeartMob, a project of Hollaback!, is a peer-to-peer community working to help end online harassment. Through HeartMob, people who experience harassment can ask for exactly the kind of support they need, when they need it. In its prototype phase, HeartMob supported 1,770+ people through 7960+ supportive actions taken on its platform. Research on HeartMob showed that by labeling abusive behavior online as online harassment, HeartMob helps to validate the experiences of people harassed online and inspires bystanders to take action.
In a 2018 study by the International Federation of Journalists, 38% of women who experienced online abuse admitted to self-censorship and 63% said these attacks had had psychological effects such as anxiety, fear or stress.
This collaboration builds on the work of the IWMF’s Coalition on Online Abuse, which seeks to offer journalists support, bolster their digital security and empower the news media to keep its employees safer online. Organizations can learn more about joining the Coalition here.
We’ll be asking for your feedback on the changes along the way, so stay tuned for more information on how you can help make HeartMob better.