Interview with Michelle Ferrier
TrollBusters: Offering Pest Control for Journalists
Dr. Michelle Ferrier PhD
We are Team TrollBusters. When you spot online violence, online abuse or other troll behavior, send an S.O.S. and we will be your first responders online, supporting you with:
personal endorsements
just-in-time coaching and
reputation repair services

THE TROLLS DON’T HAVE TO WIN. WE HAVE YOUR BACK.

TrollBusters will:
Help you figure out what you should do next.
Monitor the tainted stream.
Help report trolls to the appropriate platforms and authorities.
Provide free lessons on digital hygiene Read More...
  • Provide free lessons on digital hygiene to help you protect yourself.
  • Conduct training on digital security and response.

We support you, your website, your business, your reputation — your voice online.

Are you being harassed online right now? Assess your threat and we can help you decide what to do.


I’ve been there. Right where you are. Right now.

Staring at the screen, opening that letter full of hate and you can barely breathe. What will it be now? Dick pics? Racial baiting? Death threats?

I’m Michelle Ferrier, the founder of Troll-Busters.com. I’ve been where you are right now. As a former journalist and columnist, I received hate mail and death threats for writing my lifestyle column in the local paper. Here’s a sample of what I would regularly receive during my years as a columnist:

hate-mail-piece.jpgThis was one of the manifestos I received as an African-American columnist at a daily newspaper.

The letters became increasingly violent. I went to management. I went to the police. I went to the FBI, CIA. The Committee to Protect Journalists took my case to the Department of Justice. Nothing changed.

But I did. I changed as a person. I became angrier. More wary and withdrawn. I had police patrolling my neighborhood. I gave up and quit my job to protect my family and young children.

Ten years later, I became triggered by Gamergate and the misogynist online attacks against women in 2014. I was angry at Twitter and Facebook. And so I stood up at a hackathon and said “Let’s create something anti-Gamergate,” and TrollBusters was born.

 

 


attacks-on-press2Dr. Michelle Ferrier

Our Founder

Dr. Michelle Ferrier is the founder of TrollBusters.com, a just-in-time rescue service for women writers and journalists experiencing online harassment. She is a digital content architect with 30 years experience in media entrepreneurship and new media technologies. Ferrier is an associate professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and was named one of the top 20 journalism innovation educators for 2018.

Book Launch_CPJAOP Flyer Newseum 2Ferrier is an award-winning columnist and author. She is featured in the Committee to Protect Journalists 2016 edition of Attacks on the Press, where she wrote “Progression of Hate,” a chapter that tells her own story of hate mail attacks and the birth of TrollBusters.com as a solution to new forms of harassment. Ferrier has presented before the United Nations on World Press Freedom Day, as a keynote speaker at the Online News Association and as a panelist at the News Impact Summit hosted by the European Journalism Centre on the growing dangers for women journalists online.

Ferrier is the former president of Journalism That Matters and the creator of the Create or Die series of startup gatherings for media innovation in underserved and underrepresented communities. She is the principal investigator for the Media Deserts Project (www.mediadeserts.com), which uses geographic information system technologies to examine places in the United States where fresh news and information are lacking.

Michelle Ferrier is a scholar and communications consultant around community-based participatory research and media entrepreneurship. Her research interests include digital identity and reputation management and online communities.

Ferrier holds a Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida in Texts and Technologies where she developed online communities, online learning and new media storytelling technologies; a master’s degree from the University of Memphis in journalism; and a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Nice2TweetU
@yoursosteam
‘Nothing Has Been Done’: Khashoggi’s Fiancée Urges Action Against Saudi Arabia https://t.co/6PFjatPs9l
May 18
@yoursosteam
We need to do more about cyberbullying against Indigenous Australians https://t.co/WebD55a5JS #stayconnected
May 17
@yoursosteam
Caracas full of uncertainty for journalists covering Venezuela crisis https://t.co/GgLcMFzKyN by @pressfreedom #venezuela
May 16
@yoursosteam
CPJ Safety Advisory: Spyware vulnerability found in WhatsApp https://t.co/FgXNfWLcnx by @pressfreedom #cpjemergencies
May 15
@yoursosteam
Nelson McCausland 'apologises unreservedly' to Irish News journalist Allison Morris https://t.co/Af2jGs9qS3 #abuse
May 14
@yoursosteam
SNP must improve fact-check service to tackle online abuse https://t.co/Mrk1x3pYiJ #dissolvetheunion
May 13
@yoursosteam
SF police raid journalist's home in probe over leaked Adachi report https://t.co/15t5eMyofd
May 12
@yoursosteam
Online hate crime against disabled people rises by a third https://t.co/AFOBNoEQy8
May 11
@yoursosteam
Former Intelligence Analyst Charged with Disclosing Classified Information https://t.co/JyNwrVsY6g
May 10
@yoursosteam
SNP should name names or cybernat crackdown is just window dressing https://t.co/5OoyrerTWp
May 9
Please Click the Hearts Above to Like and Share Our Facebook Twitter Pintrest Instagram
Dr. Michelle Ferrier
Newsgeist Ignite Talk by Dr. Michelle Ferrier
"Imagine Better" with Dr. Ferrier