British authorities and media are calling for a report abuse button for Twitter in the wake of a 12 hour campaign of abuse aimed at feminist leader Caroline Criado-Perez last week. She was threatened with rape over the course of a 12-hour Twitter hate campaign as a result of her work to get more women’s faces placed on British currency.
The severity of the attack was so great that Criado-Perez filed a police report against her Twitter abusers on Sunday afternoon. According to the BBC, a 21-year-old man has now been arrested on suspicion of the crime.
However, the Labour Party is still angry because they feel that Twitter’s response was lame. The social media giant told Criado-Perez to file the police report.
But Labour politicians and others think that Twitter should install a report abuse button to stop the threats from being sent in the first place. 20,000 people have already signed a petition to demand the new button.
So what made at least one young man so angry that he was apparently broadcasting rape threats?
You almost won’t believe it.
As The Inquisitr reported last week, beloved English novelist Jane Austen will soon be appearing on the British £10 note.
The Bank of England confirmed that the Pride And Prejudice author who inspired the entire romantic comedy genre was selected because of her enduring place as “one of the greatest writers in English literature.” 1995’s Clueless, inspired by Austen’s 1815 novel Emma, is just one example of her continued relevance to modern literature.
And Caroline Criado-Perez was at the head of the successful campaign to win the recognition on Britain’s currency for Austen.
Yes, really. That was apparently enough to set off the accused Twitter troll.
In addition to the Labour Party’s call, many media writers also demanded the report abuse button. For example, Owen Jones at The Independent had a well-thought-out defense for the idea:
“In the case of Criado-Perez…we’re seeing an attempt to terrorise and intimidate. Just expecting her to block her tormentors as they fire each menacing salvo is not acceptable. Twitter needs a button to allow rape and death threats to be registered and dealt with.”
Jones revealed that in his capacity as a writer, he too has been threatened, so it’s not something theoretical for him.
I too have been a victim of stalking and death threats. So it isn’t theoretical for me either.
But I’m not so sure that a report button abuse for Twitter is anything but a good old-fashioned band-aid on cancer.
I actually think what Twitter told Criado-Perez was right. If you’re being threatened with rape and other serious crimes, you need to report it to the police — as well as taking other precautions.
Hitting a button to have Twitter turn off the creep’s account can’t be as effective as having Scotland Yard turn up at the stalker’s house to cart him away to jail.
The Guardian noted that Twitter has said that it already has a process that allows people to report abuse. No, it isn’t as simple as hitting a button. But should it be?
That too can be abused. Who hasn’t hit an alert button somewhere at sometime on the internet to report someone as abusive just because you were sick of hearing their yik yak?
So I genuinely do not know if Twitter should install a simple report abuse button or not. Tell me your thoughts in the comments down below.