Social media is changing the way we relate to each other and online aggression is proving to be a growing problem.
Recently a number of cases have emerged where social activists have found themselves facing a torrent of abuse on social media.
In the UK, Caroline Criado-Perez recently led the campaign to redress the gender imbalance on Britain’s currency by having a woman installed on the ten pound note. As a result of her campaign, she was inundated with threats of violence on Twitter, including threats of rape.
Here in Australia, activist Talitha Stone was also a victim of abuse and threats on Twitter after speaking out against rapper Tyler Okonma, whose lyrics encourage violence against women.
Talitha didn’t feel his lyrics were appropriate for an all-ages audience, but when she expressed this online, she was inundated by abuse and violent threats from the rapper’s fans. Talitha says that reporting the abuse to Twitter was a time-consuming and complicated process, which led nowhere.
Do social media websites need to take more responsibility for their user’s online safety and should they be removing comments which are of a violent, threatening or explicit nautre – comments that in any other context would be considered to be harrassment.
Audio – Talitha Stone talked to Hope Mornings about her campaign to get Twitter to install a ‘Report Abuse’ button.
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Visit Melinda Tankard Reist's blog to sign the petition asking Twitter to add a report abuse button.