CITAD Trains Female Journalists on Online Safety

Lizzy Carr from Bauchi.

A Non Governmental Organisation Centre For Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has trained Female Journalists on Online safety. .

The two-day training, hash tagged #KeepOurFemaleJournalistsSafeOnline, took place in Gombe and it attracted participants from Adamawa,Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna and Kano States.
In a presentation entitled “Understanding Online Gender Harassment and Identify Impersonation and Theft, a lecturer with the Software Department Bayero University Kano (Buk), Dr Sabah Abdullahi Muaz said as the internet increasingly becomes woven into the fabrics of our day to day lives, it means many women are blocked from limitless opportunities it offers.

She noted that many female journalists and women have been harassed and attacked online based on post or comments.

She cited the example of a journalist in the Democratic Republic of Congo whose pictures were posted on Facebook by her boyfriend without her consent and that of a Pakistani outspoken journalist whose address is included in a blog post imploring readers to kill her.

“The internet is a space for everyone to post including women and thus they must not be targets of harassment.

“We often see negative comments when a woman post her pictures on any social media platforms, a situation that has forced many to desist from expressing themselves online”, said the resource person

Dr Sanah said addressing online violence will require collective efforts from individuals, corporations and Governments.

“Social media companies need to take proactive steps to ensure their space does not enable the acts.

“We must demand a better internet where female Journalists can make their voices heard free from violence”, Dr. Sanah said.

The worst online harassment she stressed include Doxing, Cyber stalking, Hate Speech,Threats, Trolling, Public Shaming among others

Participants at a break out session during the training

The lecturer emphasize the need for policies that are based on the actual harms that women face online.

“Governments need to include online violence against women as part of their plans to end Gender Based Violence”.

To the female Journalists, she advices them to separate their work from personal life on social media accounts, protect their accounts from being hacked by using a password manager to create long unique passwords.

Other safety tips she added involve frequent review of photos online and assess whether any of them can be used to discredit them, and the need to review social media sites for comments that could indicate the beginning of trolling situation.

“You need to apply for your accounts verified by Social media companies.

The training, according to CITAD with support from Association for Progressive Communications, is to build the capacity of women journalists to safely use the internet including privacy and protection, and to train them to join the campaign on digital rights and safety and privacy online for women.

Participants were also taken on speed geeking, Bypass technology and personal metadata and it’s management.

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