The Dangers of Online Journalism

  1. Lack of secrecy.
    Gone are the days of anonymity: in an era of online news outlets, the identities of readers are no longer a secret. Electronic software’s have the ability to track and reveal people’s website selections. This can unwittingly endanger potential readers, as government’s are therefore able to intrude on people they feel are accessing prohibited information, through acts such as: blocking or censoring; harassment; and legal threats.
  2. Doxxing.
    Threatening journalists over the ideas or opinions they present in their reporting is not a new concept. However, electronic platforms have created a new method of intimidation and harassment known as doxxing. This is where a journalists personal information is published online in the form of a document (hence the name doxxing) in order to encourage a campaign of harassment, threats and pranks. Journalists targeted by doxxing attacks often find their personal and professional lives disrupted.
  3. Hacking.
    Hackers have the potential to breach journalist’s information and use this to wreak havoc on their social media accounts. Large online network outlets have also encountered serious hacking issues in the past, and this has the capability to reoccur in the future.
  4. User Generated Content.
    While it may be easy for citizens to post their content on social media websites, the lack of verification, balance and context can often cause the content to be twisted or manipulated into losing its meaning. Content can often turn into a worldwide game of Chinese Whispers and cause a range of moral, legal and ethical issues for professional journalists.

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