Rape Threats on Twitter

(269 Posts)
BitBewildered Sat 27-Jul-13 18:11:56

I've just seen this story on the BBC news app. I've not been on Twitter very much lately and am off to have a look now, but at first glance, what the actual fuck?!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23477130

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:33

I'm talking about the man arrested the other day. What happened in Texas has nothing to do with this.

Lottapianos Tue 30-Jul-13 11:31:06

"If someone can get arrested for tweeting about blowing up an airport, then surely this deserves real action?"

Excellent point.

Greatarticle by Stella Creasy in yesterday's Guardian:

'Twitter tell me we should simply block those who "offend us", as though a rape threat is matter of bad manners, not criminal behaviour.'

'This behaviour is nothing to do with technology and everything to do with inequality'

'It is not for us to learn to cope with this abuse, but for those involved to change their behaviour'

If this was race or religion-based abuse, instead of misogynistic abuse, absolutely no-one would be suggesting that the targeted people just 'ignore it' or 'don't let it get to you' or 'suck it up' or any other charming suggestions for allowing bullies to get away with using scary and threatening language. It is truly terrifying how quickly some people make the leap from 'don't agree with you' to 'I'm going to xxxx you'. It used to be that women would get called old or ugly or a slag or whatever for speaking out, now it's actual direct threats of violence. Sickening.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:31:18

Well, I found something about a teenager being arrested for sending "nasty" tweets to Tom Daley, only yesterday.

No rape or violence involved there. Just nasty.

WAY OTT if you ask me. Save it for the dangerous people

I'm pretty certain there were threats against Tom Daly, hang on.. oh yes, "i'm going to find you and i'm going to drown you in the pool"

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:33:58

Do you know what the 'nasty' tweets to Tom Daly said, or whether the sender did this repeatedly? Harassment is an offense.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:34:24

Oh right, missed that. I only saw "you let your dad down"

Didn't realise this was in Feminism!

goodtouch Yeah, I only saw that originally and didn't get the fuss. I thought it was an overreaction, but then I saw that. I think it's justified.

The fuss that is. Not the tweet. confused

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:38:13

It often happens that people reporting these stories use euphemisms to describe what was said so everyone assumes the victim is making a fuss about nothing. Much of the really awful stuff can't be repeated in radio and tv interviews because it's too obscene to broadcast. That's what happened when Mary Beard got abused before. When people find out what was actually said, they get it.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:41:58

It absolutely is justified Goths. Weird that the illegal part wasn't the headline..

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:44:00

It is weird, GoodTouch. I don't quite understand why it is.
At the moment one problem is they keep using the word 'trolls' so people think campaigners want everything that falls under the umbrella of trolling (which can include quite good-humoured wind-ups) to be banned. They really don't.

I know, you'd think they'd refer to the bit that he'd actually got arrested for wouldn't you?

maggiecockbain Tue 30-Jul-13 13:35:00

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maggiecockbain Tue 30-Jul-13 13:38:57

Bullying of any pupil including Tom Daley can be vicious and needs dealing with firmly. It can ruin the victims life by causing them to drop out of school and never get on the education ladder again.

Absy Tue 30-Jul-13 13:53:03

These tweets could be consider assault (which is the "apprehension of immediate violence"), which is a criminal offence, and an offence which has been used extensively in the prosecution of stalker cases e.g. R v Costanza where someone is not in physical proximity to the victim.

If it's a criminal offense, why shouldn't it be taken seriously?

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 14:02:27

I'm sure youth and looks are one factor in this getting such widespread coverage now but it's also silly season - Parliament has broken up, so there's more room for other news.

Whatever, I'm glad it is hitting the headlines and forcing the police, twitter and MPs to take it seriously - unlike the attitude to date, which has been 'shut up women and stop moaning'.

Double standards - the threats against Tom Daley were (rightly) taken seriously, but not against women. And her fellow MPs have done sod-all to help Stella Creasey (bet there are other women MPs who are targets as well e.g. Harriet Harman is likely to be a target as she infuriates men's 'rights' activists).

Absy Tue 30-Jul-13 14:09:30

I suppose what is so disturbing about it (apart from people thinking it's "okay" to threaten someone with sexual violence) is that it seems to be a coordinated attack on women having a presence in a public sphere, as if women shouldn't have a voice.

I mean, come on she was campaigning to have someone's face on the £10 note. It's not like she was campaigning to have all men castrated, or at least all complete wankers castrated (a motion I would be all for). The reaction is so insane and so out of proportion.

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 14:18:04

Oh yes, I think it's all about shutting women up and denying them a place in the public sphere. That's why Mary Beard gets such abuse - because she's an older woman with grey hair who dares to appear on TV.

LadyBigtoes Tue 30-Jul-13 14:19:20

You're so right Absy but luckily I think that really works against them. It is terrifying that they see fit to attack and threaten a woman for such a mundanely normal and everyday feminist campaign - but at the same time it shows them up for the jelly-brained weaklings they are. In a weird way twitter is doing women in general a favour (though individual women are being targeted which is horrible...) - by showing us what a lot of men really think and how appalling it is and how something has to be done to change it. Twitter is like a view inside the minds of idiots who don't realise just how revealing they are being.

LadyBigtoes Tue 30-Jul-13 14:22:03

Totally agree edam. Mary Beard gets it because when applying for her telly pass she forgot to be 25, blonde buxom and simpering, and instead comes over as authoritative, clever and wise without a hint of putting out. Some men just can't take it. She is a bloody fantastic role model for women.

Absy Tue 30-Jul-13 14:31:13

I also think this "women know your place" thing is a general cultural trend. For e.g., I was watching Sky news yesterday and they were reporting on the "modesty" covers for lads mags. They had two seconds of someone from Feminista giving their viewpoint, and then an interview with a former editor of Loaded, and about 30 seconds of four blokes in a pub hmm (definitely a panel of experts) giving their views. The sense I got was "oh shame, poor women being offended by some harmless pictures", completely ignoring what an issue it is.

DH is relatively evolved, but he just doesn't get (nor does a number of male friends) how much crap women have to put up with in the public sphere. There was an ad (I think for Aussie Bum) which showed a half naked man, and he went "that's so degrading - it makes me feel inadequate" not realising that 75% of adverts feature a gorgeous (impossibly beautiful, as it's photoshopped) woman in various stages of undress, not really thinking how that would make women/girls feel.

Also, I was watching the "reverse" music video of the song Blurred Lines (where the writhing naked people were men) and the women were dressed and singing, and my gut reaction was "that's so degrading!", whereas when I watched the original it wasn't as shocking. It's so normal to see naked/near naked women being petted, writhing around, it doesn't even register as shocking, only after a moment's pause. That depresses the hell out of me.

grimbletart Tue 30-Jul-13 14:32:49

Having seen the calm, logical, rational, measured and thoughtful way Ms Criado-Perez dealt with the issue on Newsnight last night I would love to see a couple of these keyboard "warriors" in a debate with her on telly, trying to justify themselves. She would chew them up and spit them out without so much as raising an eyebrow, let alone her voice. I'd pay good money to see it.grin

Just a little fantasy.

delegate308 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:11:26

On another note why does the BBC 'technology correspondent' have FA better to do than comment on the drivel that low-IQ idiots post on twitter. Twitter qualifies as technology to about the same level as a rolling pin.

this goes further than twitter though doesnt it? It invades just about every part of society, from the 'low grade idiots' right up to those who feel its appropriate to make comments about the state of the stomach that bore the royal baby.

And if they came up to you in the street and spouted it at you, you wouldnt be worried about their IQ. Just because people can hide behind their computer screen shouldnt mean that its OK and we should just ignore it. Its still offensive. Its still abusive. And its still bloody frightening for a woman to recieve just because she expressed a view on a public space.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 16:48:28

These cowardly, pathetic teenage boys should be nicknamed BBAKs - brave behind a keyboard. Bet they would just mumble spottily if they ever had to talk to an actual woman of their mum's age. A "Report Tweet" button is a must, in all areas.

Nb I saw a bit of the arse-end underbelly of Twitter when tweeting on SN issues - vile, vile cowardly creatures who sit alone cackling away in their grubby bedrooms.

Love that Mary Beard's followers fought back when she named and shamed. The removal of their cloak of anonymity would be an excellent solution - bet if Twitter threatened that, the jibes would dry up pronto!

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 16:53:42

Btw it is surely only a matter of time before the spotty youths come on here.

What about MN pioneers a "100 reports and you are outed" button?

Ie if 100 or more posters feel strongly enough that your post is vile, your email address is posted?

Fair?

Freedom of speech surely only works if there is also accountability? Anonymous internet posting is creating a lot of problems.

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