Threats, slurs and menace: Far-right websites target Fulton County grand jurors

The personal details of the 23 grand jurors in the Fulton County, Georgia case against Donald Trump and 18 others have been shared on a far-right website, prompting concerns for their safety.

Driving the news: Soon after the indictment against Trump and his co-defendants was published, an anonymous user on a far-right site shared the supposed personal details of the 23 grand jurors.
* This action, known as doxing, is a form of online harassment where personal or private identifying information is published without consent.
* The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the jurors were doxed and is working with other enforcement agencies to find the origin of the threats.

The bigger picture: As the 2024 election draws closer and the number of legal cases against Trump increases, violent rhetoric on far-right social media sites is intensifying.
* The U.S. Marshals Service reported 3,706 threats and inappropriate communications directed at federal judges and court personnel in 2022, a more than threefold increase since 2015.
* The doxing of the grand jurors raises concerns that ordinary citizens could be targeted simply for carrying out their civic duties.

Addressing the issue: Traditionally, juror protection in high-profile cases has been ensured by sequestering juries or keeping jurors’ names sealed for set periods of time.
* However, in light of this case and the evolution of online threats, these traditional methods may not be sufficient.
* Some states, like Oregon, have passed laws making all jurors anonymous to the public, although their names are disclosed to the parties of the case.

Experts weigh in: Sara Aniano, disinformation analyst at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, expressed concerns about the ease with which sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands.
* She emphasized the potential for such information to result in harassment or potential violence.

View original article on NPR

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