Jessikka Aro is a Finnish journalist working for Finland’s public service broadcaster, Yle. In September 2014 she started investigating pro-Russian Internet trolls. The resulting series of articles led to her receiving Bonnier’s Award for Journalism in March 2016.
Her investigation encountered a major backlash from pro-Russian trolls. She describes the responses as including a phone call with the sound of a pistol firing at the other end, as well as a cell phone text message purporting to be from her father (who had died 20 years earlier). A particularly vocal critic was the Finnish political activist Johan Bäckman
Aro has also written articles about the role of Internet trolls in modern information warfare, and is currently working on a book about this phenomenon. An article of hers published in the journal of the centre-right European People’s Party describes the “brutal” harassment that she attributes to Russian activists, including alleged revelations by “fake sites” and “Twitter trolls” of her drug convictions.