CLBR #262: TrollBusters Founder Michelle Ferrier
What is TrollBusters?
From Website: TrollBusters was born at the International Women’s Media Foundation hackathon for women news entrepreneurs in New York City on January 30, 2015. The problem — Find a way to address trolls and cyber harassment that predominantly affects strong women voices online. Our solution — Counter hate with love by sending positive, affirming messaging for the target to the point of attack. We provide a hedge of protection around the individual, helping to provide emotional support and reputation management during cyber crises.
TrollBusters won a top prize from Google at the International Women’s Media Foundation hackathon in New York in January 2015. The team won $3,000 for development. The Knight Prototype Fund awarded $35,000 in development funds in April 2015 to TrollBusters to develop a prototype for the positive messaging service.
Below is an example of some of the infographics it produces for journalists worldwide. Columbia Journalism Review has praised TrollBusters as an “invaluable service”.
Michelle Ferrier, PhD
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 a 2016 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow examining media entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education.
Ferrier 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 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) that 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.
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University
The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is part of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Founded in 1924, the school has been recognized by The Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report for excellence in instruction and research in the fields of journalism and mass communications.