The Independent reports that Twitter is facing a major backlash for not responding to abuse. I am pleased to hear that – Twitter has been crappy about dealing with one kind of abuse I get there, and it’s so crappy about offering ways to deal with other kinds that I didn’t even try.
A host of MPs and other leading public figures have threatened a boycott after a feminist campaigner highlighted numerous threats of rape and other violent acts being sent to her on Twitter. Caroline Criado-Perez, who finally won her fight to have prominent women represented on Britain’s bank notes this week, claimed that her complaints to the site have been ignored.
A petition was soon set up demanding more robust action from the site and attracted more than 6,000 signatures within three hours. That figure had passed the 11,000 mark this afternoon.
So. Apparently quite a few people are fed up with this kind of thing. Well, good.
Criado-Perez said that
once the decision was announced by new Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, the abuse escalated and began to attract the attention of fellow Twitter users. She reported it to the police and claims that she tried to alert Twitter’s manager of journalism & news Mark Luckie. But his response appeared to be to simply set his account to private, making his updates invisible to most users. Ms Criado-Perez said she is still awaiting a substantive response.
She added: “The internet makes it very easy to make this sort of threat, and sites that don’t make it easy to report abuse like this make men like those who have been threatening me feel like there will be no comeback. I told some of them they would not get away with it and they just laughed; at the moment, they are right.
“There has been a deafening silence from Twitter. The accounts of the men who said those things are still active. There needs to be a massive culture shift at Twitter.”
Bring on the culture shift.