Twitter: A toxic place for women

Twitter: A toxic place for women

Twitter is failing to respect womens rights online, says Amnesty International.

With online abuse rising with every passing year, Twitter, which registered a total of 330 million monthly active users in 2017, has become a toxic place for women.

This is reported by Amnesty International (AI), who has stated violence has flourished with little or no sense of responsibility of the company leaded by Jack Dorsey to investigate and respond to reports of abuse.

Omission to these cases, AI accuses, has built up a culture of silence while other women are using social media platforms to amplify their voices towards effectively tackling violent and unjust acts towards women.

An AI research interviewed 86 women and non-binary individuals leading debates and opinions in various areas and industries inside the UK and the U.S. about their experiences in Twitter, and found 62.35% of responders had experienced abuse on the social network.

The analysis also found that between January 1st and June 8th of 2017, 25,688 tweets out of 900,223 were abusive or presented a harassment comment.

These harsh responses were found mainly going towards women of color, women from ethnic or religious minorities, lesbian, bisexual or transgender women, non-binary individuals, and women with disabilities.

Why Twitter?

Twitter was created in 2006. It operates in 43 languages and serves around 500 million tweets per day, which comes out to 6,000 tweets per second.

The UK has 20 million active users while the U.S. has 67 million people daily navigating on the Short Message Services (SMS)-based platform.

This, among being one of the most profitable and resilient social network, is why Twitter is critical in an attempt to tackle violence and abuse online, especially for women.

Twitter encourages public conversations and the sharing of thoughts with up-to-the-minute reactions, however, answers are not monitored nor held accounted for, which gives people cero-to-no responsibility towards how they communicate to other people.

Pew Research Center surveyed 4,248 U.S. adults and found that 41% of Americans have been personally subjected to harassing behavior online, while another 66% has witnessed these behaviors directed at others.

Four-in-ten U.S. adults have personally experienced harassing or abusive behavior online; 18% have been the target of severe behaviors such as physical threats, sexual harassment.

Transparency, says AI, is the best way the social platform can start to solve gender-gaps and women discrimination, as they contacted Twitter in January 2018 requesting that the company share information and data on how it responds to reports of violence and abuse on Twitter, including disaggregated information on the number of reports of abuse it receives.


About the Author:

Andrea Peniche Tesche
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