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To think that it's time that explicit threats of sexual violence were dealt with.

(78 Posts)
Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 16:44:44


WARNING: potentially triggering

The woman MP who highlighted Twitter's inadequate response to rape threats directed at Caroline Criado-Perez (the woman who campaigned to have at least one female historical figure represented on our bank notes) has now been targeted with rape threats. Graphic threats.

Enough is enough. This happens to women online who give any sort of opinion. It happens to teenage girls and middle aged women. To the left wing and the right. To those who are in the media spotlight and to people you've never heard of.

It's not just words. It's a crime. Let's get it treated as one.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 29-Jul-13 19:04:55

Twitter account closed.

New email address.

New twitter account opened.

10 minutes max.

It's a huge problem. Some sympathy for the " it's Twitters problem, they should deal with it" POV.

But really, the problem is with the cretinous posters. Some form of public naming and shaming/mockery?

Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 19:19:41

America is the perfect example. They expect overseas based companies to follow their laws all the time! I'll get DH to give you a half hour rant precis when he gets in if you'd like?

Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 19:27:48

Agree that it's easy to do that. But people don't feel the need to do it.

For some women who're being attacked it's a concerted stream of abuse that goes on for days. For others it might be one person from the same account abusing them over a long period of time.

The point is that ignoring/blocking/suggesting we can't stop it all so why try is the equivalent of a green light. We know the abuse women get online for being women. This isn't about that! It's setting aside the landslide of 'Slut' and 'Cunt' and 'Ugly Bitch' and even the relentless sexual comments targeted at girls from their teens up about what they'd like to do to them. It is about specific, graphic rape threats.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Jul-13 19:27:58

Deal with it in the country where the threat originates.

It's time that we stopped looking for problems and focussed on the solutions. Or rather - Twitter should, instead of shaking their heads and making out that "it's all too difficult for the super bright people who work for us, really it is". They need to divert more time, effort and brain power to this issue rather than working out how to increase their vast profits.

Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 19:32:02

I wonder how long it would take them to deal with it if people started tweeting something libellous about a big US company - not that I would ever suggest something like that. I'd bet they'd pull those quickly and not expect Coca Cola or Disney to block individual Twitter users.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 29-Jul-13 19:49:04

And WTAF got people so angry about a woman trying to get more women on bank notes?

Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 19:55:40

I know. It's bizarre. It seems to be that anything where women express an opinion provokes a reaction and the use of the word 'fe minist' is like a red flag to a misogynist fuckwir.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Jul-13 20:20:54

Agree - it is such a bizarre thing to get so angry about. I don't suppose we're dealing with rational, right minded people here though.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 29-Jul-13 20:26:29

Heard her on Radio Four, and I was a bit "hmm if that's all you've got to worry about etc " , but bloody hell, couldn't believe it when I heard the sort of abuse she was getting. Would be a heck of a shame if these bullies got their own way. Coincidentally, another item on Womans Hour was about the difficulty of getting high profile women to appear as guests, commentators etc on the radio. One possible explanation was the fear of the twittersphere...............

MalcolmTuckersMum Mon 29-Jul-13 20:31:36

It's not just her - and by that I don't mean to minimise what she's been through - has anyone seen what vile shit has been constantly thrown at Mary Beard? It makes me despair really. I rarely use Twitter and all this ghastly violent misogyny makes me want to use it even less in the future.

LoveBeingItsABoy Mon 29-Jul-13 20:36:41

Totally needs to be dealt with

SirChenjin Mon 29-Jul-13 20:56:09

Yep. We can allow Twitter and the like to bury their heads in the sands or we can say no, deal with this issue, and throw every penny and every person you have at it. I'm going with the latter.

Bloody hell, even MN has a 'report' function beside each post. Maybe Twitter could speak to HQ?!

Tee2072 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:00:14

MN has 35,000 posts a day. Did you see where I said Twitter has 400m?

If they write an algorithm to catch abuse, who is going to decide what keywords to use? If I Tweet that I've been abused, looking for help, will I get deleted because of the words?

This isn't just a matter of throw people and tech at it. If it was, it would already be solved. This is a matter of thinking about it and finding the right solution, not a stop gap or ill thought out solution.

Just like Cameron's porn filter, actually...

SirChenjin Mon 29-Jul-13 22:37:32

Yes, I saw where you said 400m (it's actually more like 500m, but I'm not going to nitpick). Did you see where I said that I'm sure Twitter could put its best brains to work and come up with a the solution? This is a massive organisation, with vast resources. I'd like to see them leading on this and taking a stance, rather than locking down their own accounts and hiding away. Hell, there isn't even a report abuse function on their main site, they direct users who complain to online forms which they then have to submit - The Guardian summarises Twitters lacklustre response very well here

There is far too much can't do and fingers in ears from Twitter and ISPs, rather than can do and leading the way.

Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 23:32:08

This is nothing like the porn filter. Language is filtered all the time. It's a lot easier to target than images.

Twirlyhot Mon 29-Jul-13 23:36:13

Twitter messages are also limited to 140 characters. So it's not like they are incredibly difficult to work through. There may be 500 million, but they're about this long.

complexnumber Mon 29-Jul-13 23:41:45

This is nothing like the porn filter. Language is filtered all the time

As long as it's in English. Apparently Eton college set up it's own language filter, only for it's students to search for porn in French or German.

I had a lot of trouble accessing stuff from Sussex University a few years back when in Istanbul.

How would you expect a filter to detect porn in Cantonese, or Hungarian, or Welsh. It's not that easy.

edam Mon 29-Jul-13 23:45:26

Yeah, right, social media is really hard for Twitter to get their heads round... it's a pathetic excuse. What they really mean is "we don't care about it". Tough. They get all excited about how Important they are, and how crap old media is - let's see them face up to some of the responsibility that operating in the mass media involves.

MurderOfGoths Mon 29-Jul-13 23:49:13

Tee is right, a filter will not work.

The thing I'd like to see them do is take reports more seriously, and maybe not suspend accounts who call out the people making the threats. They will never catch all of them, there's no way on earth they could, but if they could at least deal with the ones they do catch. Maybe a three strikes rule.

It's the disproportionate response from twitter that winds me up.

complexnumber Mon 29-Jul-13 23:49:55

Rwy'n credu bod angen i werthfawrogi lleferydd rhad ac am ddim.

MurderOfGoths Mon 29-Jul-13 23:50:03

Edit: And yes, an easier reporting system would go a long way.

OllyPurrrs Mon 29-Jul-13 23:53:54

I agree op, I saw this on the wright stuff and I was so shocked. The way Matthew Wright was saying is that you should expect it if you use twitter, and if you can't handle it then you shouldn't have joined! It's not the same as being a bit mean or name calling, so it isn't a case of somebody being oversensitive.. Threatening sexual violence against somebody shouldn't be just accepted or put up with just because it's happening online, it's still a threat and should be treated seriously. It's been bothering me all day how Matthew seemed to dismiss it as not a big deal.

complexnumber Tue 30-Jul-13 00:05:36

OllyPurrrs I agree entirely with "Threatening sexual violence against somebody shouldn't be just accepted or put up with just because it's happening online"

Good words.

However dealing with the issue goes beyond some hi-tech quik-fix Elastoplast solution.

So I do not think knee jerk reactions against Twitter will lead to a meaningful result.

OllyPurrrs Tue 30-Jul-13 00:22:39

Thanks complexnumber I agree, and I don't think it's just about twitter either, individuals need to be held responsible for the things they say, it's just not on to threaten people that way and I wish they could be held accountable.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Jul-13 08:10:23

Is this knee jerk? I don't think so - this issue has been around for a long time, and Twitter have done FA.

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