Twitter and Gender-Based Haressment

In my previous posts(post1, post2), I explained the effects of the Twitter’s blocking policy change and women&groups’ reactions and some solutions for this change, in detail since this change threat the women, people of color, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. Some people showed their reaction with a #RestoreTheBlock hashtag to explain how they use the blocking function and why it is useful.

They start a petition on Change which I mentioned in my previous post. Zerlina Maxwell, a political analyst and feminist writer who started the petition says that

As a public person who uses the medium for my work, I am very concerned because stalkers and abusers will now be able to keep tabs on their victims, and while there was no way to prevent it 100 percent before, Twitter should not be in the business of making it easier to stalk someone

Maxwell received hundreds of rape and death threats after an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program earlier this year.

“We never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe,” Michael Sippey, Twitter’s vice president of product wrote in an announcement Thursday night. He also mentions that Twitter is dissatisfied with the “old” block option, which keeps blocked users from seeing any activity of the blockers, saying it’s “not ideal, largely due to the retaliation,” which sometimes involves blocked users recruiting their followers to harass the blockers.

Twitter now has a abusive behavior policy that forbid “direct, specific threats of violence against others,” which still make some of the users feel unsafe. In order to prevent the online abuse, contest is started under #ByeByeBullying hashtag and Twitter supports Bullying Awareness Week.

Now blocking function is restored and mute option is introduce which temporarily filter out someone from your feed and mentions without fully blocking them.

Jenn Pozner, executive director of Women in Media and News accuse the policy on an indifference to women.She told ThinkProgress

They have been told directly by their female users in a ton of different ways that there is a long-term problem that female users have with violent harassment. I’ve stopped reporting stuff to Twitter because nothing ever happens. They never did anything about it.

Twitter promise over the summer that they will take this issue more seriously and they will make ease to report.

For more information about these issue, you can also read Why Doesn’t Twitter Take Gender-Based Harassment More Seriously? and also you can read Twitter Apologizes To Victims Of Online Abuse, Updates Its Policy For Reporting Rape Threats.


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