Twitter’s Periscope was just introduced this week, and already there are issues.
According to Slate, “Twitter’s new live streaming video app, has barely been around for a week, but is already rife with the type of abuse Twitter has battled for years.”
What kind of abuse would that be? Female Periscope users are finding themselves subject to sexual harassment.
Sean Creeley, a writer for Embedly, shared, “Yesterday morning my co-workers started a Periscope and in less than 30 seconds, along came the harassment.”
Creeley’s female coworkers were subject to comments like, “I had a wet dream” and much worse.
With Periscope’s arrival, it highlights an issue that has plagued the internet since its arrival. Periscope, an app that allows you to live stream from your device, is what Slate refers to as “inherently voyeuristic.” Although Periscope’s community guidelines specify to “respect one another. Do not abuse, harass or post others’ private, confidential information,” that doesn’t mean that users will.
Although the problem hasn’t been so much with releasing private information, there isn’t a whole lot of respect for some young women using Periscope.
— Allison Evans (@AllisonLEvans) April 3, 2015
— Lauren O’Neil (@laurenonizzle) March 31, 2015
Saw sexual harassment on Periscope yesterday. Poor young lady innocently showing her workplace and receiving a torrent of abuse. Not nice.
— Dave Adamson (@DaveAdamson) April 1, 2015
So how exactly are Periscope users supposed to protect themselves? And what exactly is Periscope’s parent company, Twitter, doing to prevent the harassment?
According to Embedly, the first step is to make sure your streams are not set to be shown publicly. Also, make sure that you change the default so that only friends can comment.
Also, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke about the harassment social media users can experience. Costolo admitted that Twitter “sucks” at dealing effectively with harassment of users.
In March, Periscope’s parent company announced that it “would begin automatically generating printable abuse reports that can be handed to the police” on Twitter.
Periscope’s parent company also announced that they adjusted the filters “aimed at filtering out hate speech.”
While there have been some issues with Periscope already, Sean Creely points out that the purpose of such social media apps is to engage with people from all over the world and to foster a spirit of being “expressive and convivial.”
[Photo Courtesy of Periscope]