One every minute

Jane Austen on £10 banknotes? Good idea. Caroline Criado-Perez’s campaign to make that happen? Good idea. Twitter campaign to bombard her with rape threats? Not a good idea. Bad idea. Shitty idea. Horrendous, terrible, stinking, crap idea.

Women ought to be able to show their heads above the parapet without being punished for it by Twitter campaigns to bombard them with rape threats. It’s that simple.

The feminist campaigner who ran the successful bid to get a woman on British banknotes has revealed she has got “up to 50 rape threats an hour” on Twitter.

And prominent journalists, showbiz stars and politicians are rallying to support Caroline Criado-Perez, who runs the Women’s Room, threatening to quit the site if nothing is done to stop the abuse.

Criado-Perez said she had been getting the threats for almost 48 hours since the announcement by the Bank of England that it would put Jane Austen on the £10 from 2017.

Twitter does a really bad job of dealing with abuse.

Tweets to her account, many of which are too grotesque for publication, include one user who said: “Everyone jump on the rape train, @CCriadoPerez is the conductor.”

Another wrote: “Hey sweetheart, give me a call when you’re ready to be put in your place.”

A petition on has attracted almost 12,000 signatures, calling for Twitter to address the issue.

I’ve signed it.

Laurie Penny said a true thing in one tweet.

Germaine Greer once wrote that women have no idea how much men hate them. Thanks to the internet, now we do.

Really. Not all men, certainly, not men as such, but damn – some of them, a lot.

[Caitlin] Moran suggested many prominent Tweeters and supporters leave Twitter on August 4th, International Friendship Day, for 24 hours, in solidarity with Criado-Perez and victims of online abuse.

Ok, let’s do that. August 4th. Remember that.

Tony Wang, the general manager of Twitter UK said in a statement on the site: “We take abuse seriously and will investigate reports made via

“We don’t comment on individual accounts, but we have rules which people agree to abide by when they sign up to Twitter. We take online abuse seriously and provide advice and guidance to our users.”

That is bullshit. No they don’t.

Criado-Perez told him so.



  1. bcmystery says


    And, though I am a very non-prominent Twitter user, I’ll take a Twitter break on August 4th in solidarity with Criado-Perez as well.

  2. Stacy says

    Germaine Greer once wrote that women have no idea how much men hate them. Thanks to the internet, now we do.


  3. says

    Signed. They already got their 15,000 signatures.

    Which is something, but it would be even better if we didn’t need the petition in the first place.

    (Dream on).

  4. Victoria says

    As aweful as it can get, I find it better to let people express
    their mind and make public their real selves. Then we can truly perceive
    how big the peoblem really is, and therefore take measures to solve the problem. Example in this case, it could help a state funded media campaign to educate about the value of women, how we are human beigns with equal rights and how we all as a society win when we respect each other.

  5. shouldbeworking says

    A Canadian male is in charge of the Bank of England now. Why don’t those brave people start picking on him?

  6. Parse says

    Victoria, that’s a terrible idea.
    Do you know how trivial it is to make a twitter account? How long does it take to make a throwaway twitter account, to throw shit at a person (and when they’re eventually banned or disabled, nothing of value is lost)? How about two? Or ten? It’s unclear how large a segment of society actually is responsible for this abuse, but they’re able to make a loud stink, anonymously.
    Also, responding to abuse is a reactionary process. You can’t preemptively block a twitter account because they’re going to post rape threats (Unlike, say, a blog, where you can preemptively block assholes who have shown their assholishness elsewhere). You need to wait until they’ve actually made the threats. And then enough people need to flag them before they’re actually dealt with. In the meantime, Criado-Perez is getting crap thrown in her face. Whose responsibility is it to deal with this? Would you have the energy to go through the inefficient existing reporting process, knowing that they’re coming in faster than you can deal with them?
    In summary, it doesn’t make public people’s real selves, they do it anonymously. It doesn’t reflect how big the problem is. The measures we currently have don’t solve the problem. And it’s cruel to use Criado-Perez as a lightning rod for assholes without her consent.

  7. medivh says

    Victoria, #4: Sure, let them express themselves. And then when expressions cross a line, exclude the expressers from participating. These are criminal actions on the same level of burglary. If I walk off with your stuff, you expect me to face retribution rather than just “now we know what kind of person that medivh guy is!” Let them expose themselves, and let them be punished too.

  8. says

    @ 4 – we already know how big the problem is. We know very well. There’s no need to keep gathering the evidence of that forever, especially when the evidence consists of vicious nonstop harassment of real people.

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