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Twitter UK Vows To Review Reporting System After Advocate Gets Rape Threats

Submitted by on July 28, 2013 – 9:06 amOne Comment

Twitter in the United Kingdom is responding to accusations that they are not doing enough to protect users who are harassed or threatened through the service. The issue was raised after a successful women’s rights campaigner received threats of rape through the site this week.

The General Manager of Twitter in the UK, Tony Wang, said in a series of tweets yesterday that the company takes “online abuse seriously,” and encourages users to support it. But he also adds that the company is exploring ways to “simplify” this process, namely by expanding the Report Tweet button throughout the entire Twitter system.

The Report Tweet button is currently only available on iOS and Web versions of Twitter. Other users, like those with Android, must fill out a separate form and include links to the offending tweet.

Caroline Criado-Perez led the effort in the UK to recognize more women on currency. Criado-Perez and other advocates celebrated a major victory this week when the government announced that author Jane Austen would be featured on the 10£ note.

Speaking to the BBC, Criado-Perez claims that she began receiving ”about 50 abusive tweets an hour for about 12 hours,” and that Twitter was unresponsive to her reporting of the incidents.

A petition on Change.org to expand the Report button across the Twitter platform has now garnered over 17,000 signatures.

In the past, Twitter has generally complied with law enforcement when a user was shown to have clearly broken a local statute. Recently, the company was forced to hand over the personal information of users who had tweeted anti-Semitic remarks in violation of France’s hate-speech laws and banned the account of an illegal neo-Nazi group in Germany; but the company has fought other cases in hazier areas.

What do you think? Is Twitter responsible for a poor response to the abuse?

[via TheNextWeb]

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