The Whitehall protesters, a mixture of anti-vaxxers and opponents of lockdown, shouted “traitor” at Watt and accused him of “lying” about lockdowns.
Unsworth wrote: “We know these attacks are more often aimed at women and journalists of colour, so we want to make sure we have particular support for those groups and are looking at what this could be.”
Since the Whitehall incident, the Observer has seen apparent death threats from members of anti-lockdown groups on the messenger app Telegram, some of whom have swapped details of journalists, including their addresses, and have attempted to organise abuse.
Comments posted on Telegram by followers of Paul Joseph Watson, a British conspiracy theorist, include: “I hope he gets killed.” Another added: “If the police weren’t there, he could and should have been lynched.”
On the same thread, another follower wrote: “I hope people track him down.”
One user on an anti-lockdown Telegram channel wrote that it was “payback time”.
On another Telegram chat group, the home address of at least one prominent BBC journalist has been shared.