Sep 2018 12 – 13

Online Trolling: The Beast on the Block

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), Chapter India, are jointly organising a two-day seminar on online trolling of women journalists, activists, actors, women politicians and other civil society members. Dr. Anja Kovacs will be speaking in the panel titled ‘Is industry action only the tip of the iceberg?’ on day two.

The seminar will explore how troll armies target dissent and free speech while also examining the trajectory of online attacks and how they can very quickly escalate into physical attacks. What can women journalists and others do when misogynistic abuse and death threats issued to them online are ‘liked’ by those in positions of authority?

Who bears the responsibility for allowing the digital space to become toxic? What is the response of cyber cells when complaints are filed? Does the judiciary take trolling seriously? Is it enough to say ‘mute the conversation’ when you are being mercilessly trolled? What is the role of these multi-billion dollar platforms in these situations, and how can citizens become more proactive in asking them to take action?

Speakers will present testimonies outlining the extent of the problem and examine the legal and security options that are available. This consultation will not only profile the problem, but also try to look at the rights of citizens so they are better prepared to protect themselves when confronted with toxicity in the digital space.


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