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Good Journalistic Hygiene: When Reporting on Online Abuse, Don’t Add to the Problem

Detail of the Youtube blurring interface, allowing facial anonymizing during upload.

Detail of the Youtube blurring interface, allowing facial anonymizing during upload.

Mediashift discusses the need to visually anonymize people who face violence for speaking with reporters and the victims of viral-video abuse, which is particularly important in the click-to-embed world of video journalism.  Bullying and abuse is increasingly filmed and posted online to prolong the damage done to the victim, and reporting on those events with the victim’s face identifiable adds to the danger they’re in.  For the 15-year-old Russian boy who was bullied by a homophobic gang and told he would become “an internet celebrity” via the footage they took to circulate among Russian neo-Nazi groups, the outcome of having the video circulated by LGBT activists is largely the same. Continue reading

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