Developed in partnership with Google’s Jigsaw, this tool from the Thomson Reuters Foundation can be used with Twitter, syncing with your account and flagging harmful content. It allows users to review the comments, but you can also mute or block accounts based on TRFilter's 'toxicity score' without needing to look at the comments yourself.
While the tool limits users' exposure to content judged as toxic, it also allows you to create reports in case you need to document the abuse. No accounts or third parties will be informed that they have been included in a report. TRFilter is currently only available for use on Twitter and in English, though it can recognise harmful text content in multiple languages, and it is completely free.
Block Party gives you the option to set up different types of filters to limit who can respond to your Tweets, and any content that gets filtered out is accessible in a separate folder in case you need to view it. You can set up these filters for general use, or for specific Tweets, for example if one story goes viral and attracts trolls.
Another feature of Block Party is Helper View, which allows you to give a friend or colleague access to the app (but not to your full Twitter account) to review content without being overwhelmed by combing through hateful comments yourself. Again, this tool works for Twitter only. It has a free option, but for advanced features including full Helper View, Block Lists and stricter filters, you would need to pay for a premium account.
This interactive tool from Crash Override walks you through the steps to take to protect your online security, going over everything from setting strong passwords to removing private information that could leave you vulnerable to doxxing and other forms of harassment.
The big advantage to this tool is that it is simple to follow, compared to some of the more extensive guides available, helping you to take immediate action. That makes it an especially useful tool for new journalists or those who have not thought deeply about their online security before, to get you set up with a basic level of protection.
TRFilter and Block Party help you deal with flagging, reporting and documenting online abuse, while C.O.A.C.H covers steps you and your newsroom can take before abuse starts - but it is not an exhaustive process.
If you want to take a deeper dive into your online security, there are further resources out there which range from tools to protect your data and privacy online (reducing the risk that online abuse can spill into offline threats, while also protecting your sources) to training on how to cope with the psychological impact of online hate.
Free Press Unlimited has a list of resources and courses
Committee to Protect Journalists lists tools for online safety
IPI's course on Coping with the Emotional Impact of Online Abuse
The Rory Peck Trust's Safety Toolbox for Freelance Journalists
HACK*BLOSSOM's DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity
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