Dec. 16, 2016 – Today, three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas announced on Good Morning America that she is teaming up with Hack Harassment to serve as the organization’s first Change Ambassador. As Change Ambassador, Gabby will act as a spokesperson and champion for Hack Harassment’s efforts to decrease the frequency and severity of online harassment and will help to ensure the campaign remains focused on addressing the experiences of those who face such treatment.
Through this role, Gabby will champion the initiative’s efforts to elevate the conversation surrounding online harassment and inspire young people to drive real change. Leveraging multiple platforms as well as in-person outreach, she will share her story to raise awareness of the dangerous consequences of online harassment and call on youth to commit to change. Gabby will support Hack Harassment’s extensive efforts to engage high school and college students in the campaign. This fall, the initiative launched a Campus Ambassador program that will award grants to students who propose the best ideas for how to fight online harassment on their campuses.
Gabby has personally been a target of repeated online harassment since her history making All-Around gold medal win at the 2012 London Olympics as a 16-year-old. Today, she joins Hack Harassment, an initiative launched by Intel, Vox Media, Recode and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, to share her story with millions of people.
“Gabby’s compelling story and firsthand experience with the consequences of online harassment make her a uniquely well-positioned spokesperson for Hack Harassment,” says Chris Loo, director of Hack Harassment. “We are so thankful to have Gabby as a Change Ambassador and look forward to our work together as we raise awareness of the issue and begin cultivating real solutions to creating a safer and more inclusive online experience for all.”
Online harassment is pervasive. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 40 percent of all internet users report experiencing online harassment. Young people are disproportionately affected, with 70 percent of those ages 18 to 24 reporting that they have experienced harassment online. While the severity of these incidents varies, nearly a third say the experience made them fear for their lives and 15 percent say it affected their reputation.
About Hack Harassment:
Hack Harassment is a collaborative initiative launched by Intel, Vox Media, Recode and Born This Way Foundation with the goal of promoting safer, more inclusive online experiences by reducing the frequency and prevalence of online harassment. To accomplish this goal, Hack Harassment is working to raise awareness of the issue, foster cross-sector collaboration and cultivate solutions for users.
To learn more, visit HackHarassment.com.