In recent years, many faculty have experienced targeted harassment for statements they have made in their classroom, research, or social media. Much of this harassment originates with articles published by a handful of media platforms or right-wing political organizations and can result in a deluge of hateful messages and threats. These attacks can be scary, isolating, and traumatic. Administrations often respond badly to these attacks. At worst, they have even resulted in academic institutions firing faculty members.
The stories that lead to such harassment often make outlandish claims about something a faculty member supposedly did or said. Oftentimes these stories take a Facebook post, Tweet, a research finding, or a class comment out of context, often ignoring the academic debates they are situated within. Other times they take passing comments or posts and claim that it constitutes a major transgression. These outlets often display little interest in actually understanding the claim being made, and instead express outrage over faculty expressing ideas they disagree with.
Faculty First Responders monitors the websites most responsible for generating much of the harassment of faculty. When these outlets accuse a faculty member of some outrage we reach out to the faculty member with resources and support. It is our hope that if these stories do result in online harassment faculty members will feel supported. It is also our hope that administrators cease adopting the right-wing media’s narrative and instead actively and publicly defend their faculty from these attacks. Understanding where these attacks come from–and how to effectively respond–is necessary to better support faculty, their well-being, and their academic freedom.
We hope that this website provides useful resources to achieve these ends.
Faculty First Responders