Silvio Waisbord Colloquium: Mob Censorship

Speaker(s): Silvio Waisbord

Online Intimidation of Journalists and the Risks of Digital Publicity

Rising numbers of online attacks against journalists have been documented globally. Female, minority reporters and journalists covering issues that are right-wing identity anchors have been primary targets. Silvio Waisbord argues that this trend reflects growing forms of mob censorship linked to the demonization of journalists and the press by populist leaders. Whereas anti-press violence has historically reflected top-down authoritarianism and the weakness of the state to safeguard press and speech rights, online harassment of reporters attests to bottom-up, citizen vigilantism aimed at disciplining journalism. Effective responses are hard amid the proliferation of digital hate speech.

Event details

Annenberg School for Communication | Room 300