Finnish journalist Linda Pelkonen can still remember the feeling of fear. “I thought these people were out of their minds and that they would come and find me,” she said, recounting a wave of online harassment against her in 2015 in a recent interview with the International Press Institute (IPI). So Pelkonen could empathise strongly with Rebekka Härkönen, a reporter for the Turun Sanomat newspaper who was the target of vicious online abuse following her coverage of the August 19, 2017 knife attack that killed two people and wounded eight others in Turku, a medium-sized city in southwestern Finland. In the aftermath of the attack, Härkönen wrote a story that featured an Afghan man said to have aided one of the first victims, leading to an anti-immigrant backlash against her.
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