Rappler+ Exclusive

Rappler+ briefing: A big data analysis on online violence against Maria Ressa

Rappler
'The data shows us how authoritarian politics, networked misogyny, platform capture, and viral disinformation work together to try to silence journalists and manufacture consensus,' says Julie Posetti

A Rappler+ briefing that was held on March 12 featured Dr Julie Posetti, global director of research at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) who discussed an extensive research on the online attacks against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa from 2016, when President Rodrigo Duterte was elected president.

Posetti co-authored the recently published study, “Maria Ressa: Fighting an Onslaught of Online Violence, a big data analysis.”

The study showed that almost 60% of the attacks extracted from Facebook and Twitter were designed to undermine Ressa’s professional credibility and public trust in her journalism – mostly done by associating Ressa and her work with “lies” and “fake news.”

“The data shows us how authoritarian politics, networked misogyny, platform capture, and viral disinformation work together to try to silence journalists and manufacture consensus,” Posetti said.

Over 40% of the attacks collected from Facebook and Twitter during this period targeted Ressa at a personal level.

Posetti addressed questions and comments from Rappler+ members during the briefing. Those who missed it can watch the video of the entire session below. Use the password: 5h3ffi3ld.

The first-of-its-kind case study analyzed hundreds of thousands of posts in both platforms that were directed at Ressa in the last 5 years. While Ressa was the focus of the study, the findings also show what hundreds of women journalists globally face each day. 

The research was made possible through the collaboration of ICFJ, the University of Sheffield, and Rappler. – Rappler.com