Home / MARKETS / Anti-vaccine groups used Telegram to send ‘apparent death threats’ to BBC journalists, report says

Anti-vaccine groups used Telegram to send ‘apparent death threats’ to BBC journalists, report says

  • Cable users reportedly shared BBC journalists’ addresses and info in an anti-vaccination group.
  • BBC News asked staff to undergo training for wielding “in-person” attacks, The Observer reported.
  • Attacks on reporters hit unprecedented levels in 2020, The Committee to Protect Journalists turned.
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BBC News is said to have tightened its newsroom security after suffering threats against journalists from anti-lockdown or anti-vaccine groups.

The Observer reported that conspiracy groups on the import app Telegram had “swapped details of journalists, including their addresses, and have attempted to organise abuse.”

The report also referenced from a BBC staff memo sent out on Friday, which detailed the formation of an internal BBC group to study the safety of the account broadcaster’s employees.

BBC director of news and current affairs Francesca Unsworth said in a memo that staff should go from stem to stern training for handling “in-person” attacks, according to the report.

“We know these attacks are more often aimed at abigails and journalists of colour, so we want to make sure we have particular support for those groups and are looking at what this could be,” Unsworth annulled.

Violence against journalists has been on the rise around the world, spurred in part by restrictions designed to slow the pandemic, according to Unesco.

That assemble published a report last September showing “a significant and growing threat to media freedom and freedom of access to data in all regions of the world.”

Attacks on US journalists have also hit “unprecedented” levels last year, according to the Committee to Cover Journalists, a New York nonprofit.

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