Misogyny rife on Twitter: social media experts

A study into the number of aggressive and abusive tweets sent from UK Twitter accounts suggests large-scale misogyny on the social network, a think tank says.

Over a three-week period, Demos counted the number of uses of two particular words as indicators of misogyny.

And it says 6,500 unique users were targeted by 10,000 explicitly aggressive and misogynistic UK tweets.

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has said tackling abuse is a priority.

The study also looked at international tweets and found more than 200,000 aggressive tweets using the words, “slut” and “whore”, were sent to 80,000 people over the same three weeks.

Half of all the abusers appeared to be women.

Stark reminder

Demos used algorithms to distinguish between tweets being used in explicitly aggressive ways and those that were more conversational in tone.

The research comes as five MPs – Yvette Cooper, Maria Miller, Stella Creasy, Jo Swinson and Jess Phillips – launch their Reclaim the Internet campaign, in response to growing public concern about the impact of hate speech and abuse on social media.

Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones said: “This study provides a birds-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.

“While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it’s important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions.”

She added that it was not about “policing the internet” but was more “a stark reminder that we are frequently not as good citizens online as we are offline”.

Source: BBC

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