Twitter backlash growing as shocking new hate-speech facts revealed

Twitter’s abuse problems show no sign of abating after the publication of a shocking new report from human rights charity Amnesty International earlier this week

Amnesty says it discovered a shocking 7.1% of 228,000 tweets sent to a total of 778 female politicians and journalists in the UK and the US last year were deemed “abusive” or “problematic”.

The charity worked with Element AI to calculate that a total of 1.1 million such tweets were sent to women during that year, which equates to one every 30 seconds.

On Thursday, the company’s shares dropped a whopping 12% after the influential Citron Research group warned advertisers and investors the firm was now “toxic” and “uninvestible”.

Citron’s report called Twitter the “Harvey Weinstein of social media” following the publication of the report and criticised the company for failing to “effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform has a chilling effect on freedom of expression online”.

Citron added (via City AM): “The hate on Twitter is real and the company is not taking proper steps to curb the problem.” The group said advertisers will soon be “forced to make more morality-based brand building decisions.”

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The Amnesty study was damning for the under fire social network. It also revealed women of colour were more likely to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets than white women. Black women especially were disproportionately targeted by the trolls.

Amnesty found that “black women were disproportionately targeted, being 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets.”

Meanwhile, the abuse of the women wasn’t limited to their political persuasion either.

Amnesty concluded: “Online abuse targets women from across the political spectrum – politicians and journalists faced similar levels of online abuse and we observed both liberals and conservatives alike, as well as left and right leaning media organisations, were targeted.”

While the tweets focused on the year 2017, there’s been little to suggest that Twitter has curbed the abuse in 2018.

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