Twitter faces calls in Britain to get tough on online abuse

LONDON Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:35am EDT

An illustration picture shows the logo of the Website Twitter on an Ipad, in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

An illustration picture shows the logo of the Website Twitter on an Ipad, in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, January 30, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Regis Duvignau

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LONDON (Reuters) - Twitter, the social media site, is under pressure in Britain to make it easier for Internet users to report abuse after more than 30,000 people petitioned it over the case of a feminist campaigner who says she was repeatedly threatened with rape.

Caroline Criado-Perez helped lobby the Bank of England to make a woman, 19th century novelist Jane Austen, the new face on the country's 10 pound note, to defuse criticism that women were under-represented on the currency.

She was then "targeted repeatedly with rape threats" by ill-wishers objecting to her activity, according to an online petition, which called on Twitter to urgently add a 'report abuse' button to its service.

Some users proposed a one-day boycott of Twitter to protest against what they said was its failure to address the issue.

Twitter's General Manager for the UK Tony Wang promised to suspend all accounts found to be in breach of its rules.

"We take online abuse seriously," he wrote, saying the company was testing ways to simplify reporting of abuse.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Comments (2)
Threatening somebody verbally with rape is serious, just as it would be serious if I responded to your comment by threatening to kill you and everyone in your family. I imagine if I did that, you would probably not find yourself bitching about “soft, vulnerable individuals.”

Jul 28, 2013 3:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Typher wrote:
Are you serious HURTME? If you disagree with her explain why. Call her a dumb ass if you want… but threatening rape? Are you really defending that?

To pretend that people have some grand protection on a privately owned website to threaten violence is just wrong. If you want to ignore something.. ignore those posts that drive you to threaten violence if you are such a small man that you can’t help yourself.

Jul 28, 2013 5:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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