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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.

Foreps123 Tue 06-Aug-13 21:17:44

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Foreps123 Tue 06-Aug-13 21:16:43

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SirChenjin Wed 31-Jul-13 22:16:20

I know she's not the first - she's nothing like the first - but I think she is one of the people in the current spotlight who really has caught the attention of the public. Being threatened with anal rape because she wanted a female figure on a bank note is so utterly ridiculous and horrific it's unbelievable, and the subsequent reaction from Twitter has been pathetically limp.

I actually don't care whether she has a double barrelled name and comes from a well off background - no woman (or man) should have to put up with threats of this nature.

IrnBruTheNoo Wed 31-Jul-13 21:19:43

But why should it take someone who's got a double barrelled surname, from a fairly well-off background to have to be attacked on a social networking site before action is taken for the greater good? Could someone who is working class who's already been through this not have had the spotlight on them first?

That's what really hacks me off, sorry. I'm just not buying into this particular woman who is grabbing all the spotlight just now. She's not the first, you know!

SirChenjin Wed 31-Jul-13 19:21:57

I agree, but perhaps this will come now that they have been taken to task so publicly. I do hope so.

IrnBruTheNoo Wed 31-Jul-13 18:40:03

I would like to see all the other countless men and women (from working class backgrounds) who've encountered abuse on social networking sites getting as much publicity as the woman mentioned in the OP. That is all.

SirChenjin Wed 31-Jul-13 18:07:33

I would imagine that they wouldn't drag their heels if profits were affected as a result of numerous court cases. It's only because there really isn't any form of recourse for the average man or woman that Twitter have got away with doing very little to date...

IrnBruTheNoo Wed 31-Jul-13 10:24:54

This would snowball if Twitter took action against these threats. If they start a case with this, where does it end? They'd never be out of the courts! It happens every day, tbh. The woman highlighted is wealthy, so the attention seems to be on her because she wants a woman's face on a banknote, but what about others in every day life (who are not so wealthy) who use Twitter and get abuse from others???

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 22:24:25

twitter's head of 'trust and safety' told ITN they DO have policies against violence. So WTF did their UK boss block the woman who complained about rape threats, instead of dealing with it?

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 22:21:14

Btw, Twitter's media section says they deal with 200m tweets a day, not 400m as quoted in various places about this issue. Still an enormous number, but half what has been claimed when they say 'ooh, it's too difficult'.

wasabipeanut Tue 30-Jul-13 22:20:57

Well the problem is clearly high on everyone's agenda. I think it just got about 7 seconds on the 10 O'Clock News.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Jul-13 22:20:16

I completely agree. There is a lot to be done - they have created a monster that's for sure, but they can't carry on doing little or nothing. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years.

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 22:17:43

IIRC MN removed the volunteer mods when there was the whole Top Parenting Guru Gets Offended debacle - I think if you have mods it makes you much more responsible for monitoring and reacting to potentially actionable posts (I could be out of date here, or have misunderstood, though).

However, Twitter and Facebook et al need to get smarter at identifying and removing illegal posts. Harassment is illegal. Threats of violence can be illegal (depending on whether they are serious and addressed to a named individual or group).

That's not just about having a report button. It's about actually assessing the reports that come in to see whether they are serious and important and potentially illegal - so that reporting isn't used to silence women (and others) by aggrieved misogynists/racists/etc. It can't just be put in a box labelled 'too difficult' - Twitter isn't beyond the law.

Making it clear in terms of service that misogyny, racism, homophobia, disablism, harassment, threatening behaviour etc. will not be tolerated and you can be chucked off for indulging in it might help.

What would also help is making sure all staff, including senior management, have diversity training. Not just about race/religion either (which the ill-informed often think is 'the issue', ignoring other forms of hatred).

MurderOfGoths Tue 30-Jul-13 22:03:50

Oh I know, sorry if I wasn't clear. I just meant they'll never catch all the threats.

Culture shift is the big one isn't it? Feels like we're trying to cut down a mountain with nail scissors sometimes doesn't it?

I get that feeling with Twitter too. I get that they pride themselves on not being heavily moderated, but they've got to take some responsibility.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Jul-13 21:50:14

Murder - I'm not suggesting that they monitor every Tweet - but they definitely need to do more, and I agree absolutely with what you've identified. I think there also needs to be a culture shift, which I know will take time, but imo they need to take a hard line and make it clear that the Twitter platform won't support threats of violence etc. It seems (to me) as if it's been allowed to become a free for all with Twitter doing very little in response.

MurderOfGoths Tue 30-Jul-13 21:21:48

sir Just in terms of the sheer number of tweets going up, I think they'd need a staff of thousands, actually more, just looked up how many tweets go up per day, 400 million! And from what I know of Twitter I dread to think how many of those are threatening! You just couldn't keep up with that.

They do need to remove more though, improve the reporting system, improve the training in which accounts get suspended/banned, oh and teach their staff not to lock down their accounts when asked awkward questions.

PrincessTeacake Tue 30-Jul-13 19:47:18

People who use twitter to make threats aren't clever enough to cover their tracks, it would take very little effort for someone with the right training to find out who is behind a particular remark and wreak suitable havoc on their personal life. Hell, I did it myself when someone decided that my issues stemming from childhood abuse were hilarious and totally worth joking about. Tracked him down in minutes, turned an entire community against him. Last time I saw him I could literally feel the hate rolling off him in waves.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Jul-13 12:54:47

Is it impossible? I don't suppose we'll actually know that until they try - and by that I mean throwing everything they have at the problem, and not just making a half hearted attempt.

But yes, I agree, they definitely need to do more than they are (and have been) doing.

MurderOfGoths Tue 30-Jul-13 12:28:42

sir Problem is, we can't expect them to do something which is actually impossible (eg. keep up with removing all threats from Twitter). However they should definitely be doing more than they currently are.

SirChenjin Tue 30-Jul-13 12:26:35

Just because something is widespread doesn't (and shouldn't) mean that Twitter should be excused from tackling the issue head on - if anything, it means they've let the probem drag on for far too long. It is not outwith the realms of possibility to deal with the problem, it's just that Twitter choose not to, instead diverting resources to increasing profits. They, and other similar services and ISPs (sorry Murder! wink) have got away with far too much for far too long. If they choose not to lead from the front then it's inevitable they will be pushed from behind, and I have no sympathy for them.

Binkyridesagain Tue 30-Jul-13 12:14:09

I'm listening to Jeremy vine on radio 2 discussing this again, Mary beard was trolled whilst appearing on the show yesterday (to discuss this) and retweeted the abuse, to challenge the abuse

LessMissAbs Tue 30-Jul-13 11:15:35

I do not see why sexually aggravated remarks have not been made an offence, alongside racially aggravated ones. If its possible to police the latter, it must be possible to police the former.

Lazyjaney Tue 30-Jul-13 09:33:00

The problem with Twitter is the sheer scale of the problem

And the minute you allow people to report others in the hope of shutting them up the volume of reports will go stratospheric.

Surely if people said unpleasant things on record they can be charged? Then the police can ask Twitter for their details and they can be prosecuted.

MurderOfGoths Tue 30-Jul-13 08:33:08

The problem with citing 4chan is that their tolerance for vile behaviour is so high that there aren't going to be so many users that they think are beyond the pale. So not as much to moderate.

The problem with Twitter is the sheer scale of the problem.

PrincessTeacake Tue 30-Jul-13 08:28:04

Yes MOG, I did. I've seen it happen. That hysterical person I cited earlier managed to get a lifetime ban and her image plastered all over the boards she was banned from. They have a high tolerance level for foulness but they crack down when people go too far.

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