Threats and threatening approaches to politicians: A survey of Norwegian parliamentarians and cabinet ministers
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82% of politicians have experienced at least one form of unwanted behaviour or threats, or have received some kind of hateful messages, whether through direct contact or via social media. 40% have been subjected to serious incidents. These incidents involve actual or attempted attacks, threats (also directly or indirectly via social media) to attack the politician or people close to them, or damage to their property or personal belongings. More politicians were subjected to harassment and threats via social media than previously. This seems to be a growing trend. The extent to which parliamentarians are susceptible is linked to political parties and issues rather than to the coalition government. The most susceptible group is Progress Party (FrP) politicians, while politicians from the Conservative Party (Høyre, meaning ”Right”) are among the least susceptible. Both parties were in government during this parliamentary term, with the prime minister from the Conservative Party. The experience of undesirable incidents has an impact on both the private lives and political activity of politicians. Our findings show that the consequences for private life have fallen from 42% in 2013 to 27% in 2017. In the case of political activity, there was a slight increase, from 13% to 17%. There is a clear link between the seriousness of the incidents and their impact on the politicians’ behaviour.
Norsk utgave PHS Forskning 2017: 5