Expert Voices Together: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Supporting Experts Facing Online Harassment
Trust in our information ecosystem is at an all-time low. And yet the very experts best equipped to counter misperceptions themselves become the targets of abuse and distortion. Facing violent threats, vicious smears, and demeaning attacks—many of which move freely between online and offline spaces—these experts place themselves at significant risk. In this talk, Dr. Rebekah Tromble will introduce Expert Voices Together (EVT), a rapid-response system designed to support experts who are facing campaigns of online harassment. Supported by an NSF Convergence Accelerator grant, EVT seeks to shift the burden of addressing harassment from individuals to institutions and to do so based on principles and best practices drawn from trauma-informed care.
Dr. Rebekah Tromble is director of the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics and associate professor in the School of Media & Public Affairs at George Washington University. Her research focuses on political communication, digital research methodology, and research ethics, with particular interests in political discourse on social media, as well as the impacts of exposure to online disinformation and abusive content. Dr. Tromble is currently leading a team of international researchers from both the social and computer sciences to investigate the “health” of political conversations on Twitter. She also leads Expert Voices Together, a project funded by the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator program, developing a rapid-response system to support journalists, scientists, public health officials, and other experts facing campaigns of online harassment. Dr. Tromble consults regularly for industry and policymakers, particularly on topics of digital platform accountability, responsible data access and use, and best practices for combating the effects of disinformation. She is also a member of the European Digital Media Observatory’s Advisory Board.