Akava proposes to the Government the criminalisation of online targeting and shaming
Akava proposes that the Government issue legislation to outlaw online targeting and shaming. Online targeting and shaming refers to systematic activities aimed at silencing people or influencing their actions, for example, by issuing threats or spreading private information online.
“The threat of online targeting and shaming may affect scientific work. At its worst, it influences the choice of research subjects and prevents research work. This phenomenon must be contained through criminalisation”, says Johanna Moisio, Executive Director of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers.
Akava Works conducted a questionnaire survey that clarified the respondents viewpoints regarding the criminalisation of targeting and shaming as well as the manifestations of work-related targeting and shaming among the professional groups within Akava. The survey material was collected during the period of 15–29 March 2021.
The majority of the respondents to the questionnaire reacted positively to the idea of criminalising targeting and shaming. A total of 74% of those who had been subjected to targeting and shaming within their job and 70% of other respondents supported the idea of criminalisation. Fewer than 10% reacted negatively to the idea of criminalisation.
The most common form of targeting and shaming was the spreading of inaccurate information about the respondent.
Of those who had been subjected to targeting or shaming:
-62% stated that inaccurate information about them had been spread
-41% experienced an attempt by another person to inappropriately influence their work-related activities
-36% had been pressured or intimidated by someone outside their work community
-31% stated that personal information about them had been spread
-29% stated that others had been incited to threaten or pressure the respondent or to spread personal or inaccurate information about the respondent
-26% had received threats from outside of their work community
-12% had been an indirect victim of targeting or shaming.
The questionnaire was completed by a total of 7,333 respondents, who are members of the following Akava affiliates:
-Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT)
-Akava Special Branches
-Union of Church Professionals AKI
-Trade Union Ava
-Union of Professional Engineers in Finland
-Trade Union of Education OAJ
-Finnish Union of University Professors
-Talentia Union of Professional Social Workers
-Association of Finnish Lawyers
-Finnish Police Federation SPJL
-Finnish Association of Public Health Nurses
-Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK
-Professionals of Business and Technology
-Social Science Professionals
Additional information in Akava’s press release in Finnish: