In today’s divided political climate, personal online attacks, including doxxing of journalists, are becoming more prevalent, and their potential consequences more personally and professionally dire.
This is particularly true for journalists who have seen an escalation in attacks online amid increased political polarization.
In response, the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) has partnered with DeleteMe to help protect journalists online. Microsoft’s Democracy Forward Initiative is funding the project with the goal of reducing online exposure of journalists’ personal information and enhancing their risk protection during the coming election year.
Doxxing – the act of maliciously sharing personal data like phone numbers, home address, and family member detail – poses significant risks for journalists, including criminal identity theft, spoofing, and in-person harassment.
Unfortunately, doxxing is all too easy when data brokers and other online people search sources make individuals’ personal information commercially accessible.
Some key facts about journalist risk in 2023-2024:
- Threats to journalists have been escalating particularly during election cycle years.
- Trust in the media has reached record lows and growing numbers consider violence to achieve political goals acceptable.
- Journalists are highly vulnerable compared to most other professions due to malicious political actors aiming to influence media outcomes.
As part of the collaboration to eliminate risky information from the web, DeleteMe will provide 140 licenses to participating journalists within the INN Network. DeleteMe’s experts continuously search for journalists’ personal information and send opt-out requests on the behalf of its clients.
In addition, INN will be providing additional discounted or free security and privacy resources to help journalists assess personal risk, manage online harassment, and get emergency assistance in case online harassment escalates.
INN is a supportive network for over 425 independent news organizations, focusing on nonpartisan and public service journalism. DeleteMe, a leader in personal data protection, has been at the forefront of removing personal data online since 2009, serving a wide range of clients including Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Their combined efforts aim to empower journalists to maintain the integrity of their reporting without fear of threats and harassment.
For more information, read the full press release here.
DeleteMe’s mission is to give individuals more control over their privacy, as well as preserving democratic processes by protecting political figures, journalists covering polarizing issues, and others who may be at increased risk of online harassment or doxxing. Our service advocates for your privacy and helps you confront the many organizations that may expose your data, accidentally or deliberately.
Join DeleteMe to see why the top news organizations trust us to help protect their journalists.