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Are you a target on Twitter?

Are you a target on Twitter?

The Amnesty International Troll Patrol project revealed the scale and nature of online abuse faced by women. And it is frightening but not surprising.  It was  a joint effort by human rights researchers, technical experts and thousands of online volunteers to build the world’s largest crowd-sourced dataset of online abuse against women.

n March 2018, Amnesty released its report Toxic Twitter: Violence and abuse against women online which outlines the human rights harms facing women on Twitter.  It found, for example:

  • 7.1% of tweets sent to the women in the study were “problematic” or “abusive”. This amounts to 1.1 million tweets mentioning 778 women across the year, or one every 30 seconds.
  • Women of colour, (black, Asian, Latinx and mixed-race women) were 34% more likely to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets than white women.
  • Black women were disproportionately targeted, being 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets.
  • Online abuse targets women from across the political spectrum – politicians and journalists faced similar levels of online abuse;  both liberals and conservatives alike, as well as left and right leaning media organisations, were targeted.

See the link to their study for a discussion about their findings and potential responses.

Header photo of Lake Merritt, Oakland, by Daniel Ramirez, courtesy of Creative Commons License