Women’s Groups to Help End Twitter Harassment


Twitter screen shot

If you’re a woman, you’ve most likely experienced some form of harassment on social media. Twitter harassment is one of the more common examples–it seems that site is just teeming with trolls.

So, what’s so unique about Twitter harassment? It’s often times very gendered and extremely harsh. One group that’s working to help end this cruel and upsetting form of harassment is Women, Action & the Media (WAM!). WAM! works to fight for “gender equity in media access, representation,” and “employment in ownership.” One of the group’s successful campaigns targeted mean, gender-based content on Facebook. Along with the Everyday Sexism Project, the group persuaded Facebook to change its “policy regarding gender-based ‘cruel and insensitive content’.”

The group revealed its Twitter harassment campaign on November 6th. The project aims to create an effective way for Twitter users to report harassment. When realized, Twitter users will be able to fill out a form that allows them to detail the harassment. It will also track Twitter’s response to the reported harassment.

The pilot program will escalate “validated reports to Twitter and track Twitter’s response to different kinds of gendered harassment.” When the pilot test is over, WAM! will collect the data and work with Twitter to “better understand gendered harassment functions on their platform,” reports Jezebel.

In a WAM! press release, the group reports that a PEW study found that 25 percent of young women have been sexually harassed online, and 26 percent have been stalked.

As an active Twitter user and a female, I think this is a great move. I hope the program yields successful results and that gendered Twitter harassment will soon become a thing of the past.

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Image: keiyac

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Abbie Stutzer