Twitter

Photograph by Coletivo Mambembe

Twitter has come under fire for not currently offering a “report abuse” button on the service, after women’s rights campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez received death threats through the service for her campaign to have women represented on British banknotes.

Twitter has said that they take abuse seriously and will suspend accounts found to be breaking their rules, but these rules are not well known or easy to find for users. Twitter UK’s general manager Tony Wang also said that the company were testing easier ways to report abuse on the service.

Facebook already offers quick ways to help people report abuse such as hate speech, or inappropriate photographs, but up until now Twitter users had to find the Twitter help section and fill out a form. For a company that is built around instant sharing, it should not be that difficult to complain about harassment.

Criado-Perez reportedly received a number of rape and death threats and other abuse messages through Twitter after her campaign was successful in getting Jane Austen to replace Charles Darwin on the newly designed £10 banknote. She reported the abuse to the police who are investigating the matter, but when someone is receiving more than 50 abusive tweets per hour, Twitter should make it easier to report people and not just block them, as they could well sign up instantly with a new account.

An online petition calling on Twitter to add a “report abuse” button was started in response to the issues faced by Criado-Perez, and has received wide support garnering more than 12,000 signatures at the time of publication.

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