Home Business NewsTech News Controversial reactions to anti-misogyny Twitter boycott #twittersilence

Controversial reactions to anti-misogyny Twitter boycott #twittersilence

by LLB Reporter
5th Aug 13 9:53 am

Have you noticed that #Twittersilence is trending globally on Twitter (meaning it is one of the most tweeted-about phrases among the more than 500 million users of the service)?

That’s because a major Twitter anti-misogyny boycott was launched yesterday to protest against abuse of women on Twitter. Times Columnist and author Caitlin Moran instigated #twittersilence on Sunday in protest against online abuse against women, and following the ongoing debate over whether or not Twitter should silence internet “trolls” (i.e. people who are abusive to other users) tweeting abuse against women.

The media storm has been provoked by death and rape threats tweeted at Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned for Jane Austen to be the new face of the £10 note and is the founder of The Women’s Room, an organisation that promotes female experts in the media. Other prominent women have since spoken out about abuse tweeted at them.

Criado-Perez, however, has been keen to distance herself from the protest, tweeting:  “For all those getting in touch about #twittersilence, while I appreciate the mark of solidarity, I didn’t instigate it & I’m not taking part.

“This is bc while I see the potential power of a symbolic gesture, & each must react in their own way to abuse, personally it is not how I choose to react.

“I choose 2 remain on twitter. I choose 2 #shoutback. And I choose not 2 stop even 4 a day [sic].”

The extreme abuse on Twitter (i.e. death threats and rape threats) has also been directed at the classicist and broadcaster Mary Beard, Stella Creasy MP, Independent columnist Grace Dent, Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman and Moran, among others.

Following the ongoing media storm over events last week, Twitter introduced a report button for abuse on Saturday and updated its harassment policies. It also released an apology statement.

Tony Wang, general manager of Twitter UK, tweeted: “I personally apologise to the women who have experienced abuse on Twitter and for what they have gone through. […]

“The abuse they’ve received is simply not acceptable. It’s not acceptable in the real world, and it’s not acceptable on Twitter.”

Numerous well-known figures have tweeted their thoughts on #twittersilence, including:



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