Shouting back

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/twitter-add-a-report-abuse-button-to-tweets?utm_campaign=twitter_link_action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

Slow to catch on as ever, and writers infinitely more articulate than I have already addressed this in the twittersphere and/or will be doing so in the broadsheets in early course, no doubt, but if you, like most human beings, find it totally abhorrent, offensive and repellant in every conceivable away that a woman (or indeed anyone) is subject to violent rape threats for having the temerity to promote a cause she believes in, please sign the above petition.

Journalist Caroline Criado-Perez had pursued an important but ultimately inoffensive campaign to keep women on bank notes, which met with success when the BOE confirmed that Jane Austen would become the new face of the £10 note. Her brief prominence led to a sustained campaign of highly offensive, abusive and frightening threats from internet trolls; frightening both in the sense that she must have felt real fear as the recipient of such unwarranted hate, and frightening in the sense that it is terrifying that there are living, breathing, human beings at large who think and act as these trolls do.

I don’t normally shy away from the profane, as you may have noted, but I don’t have the stomach to give examples of the behaviour in question; you can find out more on Twitter, including on Criado-Perez’s timeline.

The universally accepted tactic for troll management to date has been to treat them like the unimportant, cowardly little bullies that they are, and ignore them. Criado-Perez says no, and is shouting back. A petition has been set up for those who agree that online aggression towards women, towards anyone, should not be tolerated, and that Twitter should move away from the current uneasy quasi-tolerance to this cyber-violence, and take steps to eliminate it.

No one should be silenced out of fear. I agree with Criado-Perez. If you do too, please sign the petition.

 

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