Journalists Suspended Over Their Participation in Secret Facebook Group That Encouraged Online Harassment of Women by Hadas Gold
by Hadas Gold / February 2019
Paris (CNN Business) Several prominent French journalists have been suspended and another could lose his job over their participation in a secret Facebook group that encouraged the online harassment of women.
The existence of the private group was first reported last week by French newspaper Liberation, which said it was founded in 2009. The group called itself the “LOL League” and was made up mainly of men.
Members of the group have admitted that it was used to harass women.
In one case, a member admitted to setting up a phone call in which a woman was offered a fake job and then sharing the recording publicly.
The scandal has drawn comparisons in the media to the #MeToo movement, which exposed wrongdoing by powerful men in the industry. Some aspects also resemble the organized online harassment of female video game developers and their allies during #Gamergate.
Victims have accused the LOL League of orchestrating targeted harassment campaigns that would result in streams of vitriolic messages on social media platforms like Twitter. One likened the experience to “running away from a sniper.”
It’s not clear whether the private Facebook group remains active or has been closed.Facebook (FB) did not respond Tuesday when asked about the group’s activities.
Several prominent French journalists were facing a criminal investigation today after a “malicious pack” of men who bullied high-profile women online was exposed.
Paris prosecutors have began examining complaints of cyber-bullying against the contributors to a private Facebook group called League of LOL (Laugh Out Loud).
Made up mostly of men in their thirties including a number working for Left-wing newspaper Libération, the group ridiculed women journalists for years, sometimes using pornographic memes to attack them.
Those targeted included TV presenter Florence Porcel, 35, who received a call from a League member posing as an executive offering her a non-existent job. “When the recording was made public, I cried of shame for days,” said Ms Porcel.
The founder of the group, journalist Vincent Glad, was suspended by Libération yesterday after an investigation by its own fact-checking unit exposed its existence.
….The scandal is being described as the French media’s #MeToo moment, after the campaign to bring prominent men guilty of sexual abuse to justice.