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Amnesty International Accuses Twitter of Failing to Protect Women from Abuse


In an ideal world, the internet would be an accepting hub of individuals and ideas, free to express themselves however they wish without fear of backlash. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. Many popular online platforms have long been plagued by hate-filled comments and abuse, with micro-blogging site Twitter often being singled out among the worst offenders for such behaviour.

According to prominent human rights organisation Amnesty International, the problems with abuse on Twitter’s platform go beyond that which can be dismissed as an unfortunate side-effect of their industry and instead represent an outright failure on the company’s part to adequately protect their user base from online violence, in particular that which is aimed at women.

The aforementioned claims were made in a report published last Wednesday, in which Amnesty said the social network responded inconsistently when abuse was highlighted, even when it violated its own rules. In a survey of 1,100 British women carried out as part of the report, it was found that just 9% of respondents believe that Twitter is doing enough to stop violence and abuse against women; 78% meanwhile do not see Twitter as a place where they can freely share their opinion.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, went so far as to say that Twitter had become a “toxic place for women”. She said: “For far too long Twitter has been a space where women can too easily be confronted with death or rape threats, and where their genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations are under attack.

“The trolls are currently winning, because despite repeated promises, Twitter is failing to do enough to stop them. Twitter must take concrete steps to address and prevent violence and abuse against women on its platform; otherwise its claim to be on women’s side is meaningless.”

Twitter as you may well expect dispute Amnesty’s claims, pointing to the 30+ changes implemented in the past 16 months which were specifically aimed at improving user safety, and stating rather plainly that they “cannot delete hatred and prejudice from society”.



Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @Songbird_Sam

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Amnesty International Accuses Twitter of Failing to Protect Women from Abuse Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Friday, March 23, 2018 Rating: 5
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