Turkish journalists face abuse and threats online as trolls step up attacks

Turkey has shut more than 160 media outlets and arrested about 100 journalists since a failed coup attempt in July. But that is just half the story.

Away from shuttered news rooms and busy police stations, trolls have intensified a campaign to intimidate journalists online, hacking social media accounts, threatening physical and sexual abuse, and orchestrating “virtual lynch mobs” of pro-government voices to silence criticism.

Since January this year the International Press Institute (IPI) has logged more than 2,000 cases of online abuse, death threats, threats of physical violence, sexual abuse, smear campaigns and hacking against journalists in Turkey.