Home » Twitter to fight online harassment of women through a new tool

Twitter to fight online harassment of women through a new tool

Twitter recently announced they are teaming up with a women’s rights advocacy group known as Women, Action, & the Media (WAM!) to develop a new tool aimed at fighting gender harassment and abuse on the internet—particularly on the Twitter social media platform.

“WAM will escalate validated reports to Twitter and track Twitter’s response to different kinds of generated harassment. At the end of the pilot period, WAM will analyze the data collected and use it to work with Twitter to better understand how gendered harassment functions on their platform, and to improve their responses to it,” reported the advocacy group.

Twitter responded “We’re always trying to improve the way we handle abuse issues, and WAM is one of many organizations we work with around the world on best practices for user safety.”

But while this seems like a good idea on the surface, some criticize that it may not be enough.

Brianna Wu is a game developer who actually faced death threats just because of her #GamerGate criticisms on Twitter. She expresses concern over this campaign, explaining that they have the best intention, but it just may be misguided. “It’s very clear to me,” she says, “that they genuinely want to make it better. That said, from what I’ve read about this so far, there doesn’t seem to be any teeth.”

She continues, “I’ll be sold on it when I report something and see action taken. I’m always a little bit bewildered when the focus of the conversation becomes Twitter. To me, it seems like being angry at the post office for sending you a threatening letter.”

At the end of the day, however, Twitter is, at least, making an effort and that effort could make all the difference regarding gender harassment on Twitter and, maybe, the whole of the internet.

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