Atalanta in Apolitical: "Hold social media companies to account to stop harassment of female politicians"
Online abuse is “not just the cost of doing politics”, Atalanta Founder & CEO Eva Barboni writes in an op-ed for Apolitical, a global network for public servants. Highlighting the scale and impact of online harassment for women politicians, which is underpinned by findings from Atalanta’s latest report, she explores possible solutions for a host of stakeholders:
The channels for engaging with public officials have rapidly expanded with social media’s rise, creating enormous potential for direct communication between political leaders and the people they serve. At the same time, these platforms have opened up a new avenue for abuse and threats, lowering the barriers to harassment and often allowing the perpetrators to remain anonymous…
Social media companies often face heavy criticism for their perceived failure to tackle the issue of online abuse. However, social media didn’t create the problem of sexism and violence against women, it simply exposes underlying biases and gives people a bigger platform to share them. Tackling the problem will require a coordinated approach, with candidates, political parties, social media companies, and government working together.