back to article Newsflash: Twitter still toxic place for women, particular those of color, Amnesty study finds

In March, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey promised to stem the tide of toxic content that has plagued his antisocial network for years. "We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress," said Dorsey, pining that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What? Did someone think Twitter was really that far from 4chan, rotten, or goatse for that matter?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The POTUS doesn't publicly post on those all the time. While the content may be similar the reach is orders of magnitude greater for Twitter.

      But your "seen it all before" attitude is cool!

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        If you want to insult someone, you say something you think they'll find insulting. Much easier to target insults by race or sex than something more sophisticated.

        1. Just Enough

          "If you want to insult someone .. .. Much easier to target insults by race or sex"

          That's besides the point. People shouldn't be allowed to target anyone for insults, of any kind, just because they want to insult them. Fine, take issue with what they have said or done, but dishing out abuse using things that are irrelevant is not on.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Insults are only abuse if you are weak minded.

            If you can't handle insults, get the fuck off TehIntraWebTubes. You're not constitutionally equipped to handle it. This thing crosses all of Humanity. One man's insult is another mans term of endearment, you fuckin' fuck. ::sfsf::

          2. AMBxx Silver badge

            I didn't say it was good to do it, I was saying that it's an easy way to cause offence. That's why the insults target the easy stuff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What - you can post on Goatse?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    in other news

    An even higher percentage of troublesome and abusive messages were sent to ignorant idiots.

    Let's all go and protest to save the retarded who want to tell us how to think, from abuse by those who already know how!

    Save the stupid! Honest, it won't burn (much).

    Seriously, without seeing what the women sent first, this is meaningless. Trolls get abused back, as to gold diggers, spammers, and morons. Regardless of "social identity victim point status".

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: in other news

      I will also agree with this along with my own post. I have been abused (during shirtgate, when the man who helped land on a bloody comet became evil because of a shirt he wore for luck). Apparently i 'shaded'. I still don't know what that means, but the lady of colour who is an STEM outreach worker needs to rethink her job, and is still blocked.

      All I asked was for them to have a sense of proportion. Apparently they've all been through the total perspective vortex. And weren't in zarniwoop's office

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: in other news

        So, to be clear, you are complaining about people being mean to you online as a justification for being mean to people online?

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: in other news

          Absolutely not Mr Luxury Yacht. I simply blocked her because she couldn't seem to understand that she was ranting at a reasonably innocent man. (for me, blocking can be self preservation). I was absolutely NOT mean to her. Indeed I'd have liked to have a reasonable discussion with her, but she was too far into ranting against me for being a white male at that point...

      2. joeW

        Re: in other news

        "the lady... is still blocked"

        I'm sure she's quite devastated.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: in other news

          Sarcasm aside,. i doubt it, nor would i expect her to be

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: in other news

      I perpetually am fascinated by the notion that trying to achieve a civil discourse in which people are not attacked at all, much less simply due to the color of their skin or contents of their pants, is somehow controversial.

      To put it another way, why is it so essential that you be allowed to act like a compete and total cockmonger?

      1. TheMeerkat

        Re: in other news

        Allowed by whom? The question is as always - who decides what is allowed and what is not allowed?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: who decides what is allowed and what is not allowed?

          Primarily the law, then the platform owner.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: who decides what is allowed and what is not allowed?

            Here in the US it's primarily the platform owner, the law usually refuses to get involved in such censorship[0]. Thankfully.

            [0] Note that the platform owner deciding what can and can't be said on their platform is NOT censorship, as the user has many other places to discuss whatever it is that the platform owner disallows. However, if the .gov says.you can't say something it generally applies to all platforms, and thus is censorship. Not that .gov censorship works on TehIntraWebTubes, of course.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: in other news

        I perpetually am fascinated by the notion that trying to achieve a civil discourse in 160 (now 320) characters.

        Fixed that for you.

        While there is a problem with civil discourse on the Internet in general, the form used by Twitter has something to do with that as well.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: in other news

          "160 (now 320) characters"

          I don't use twitter, but isn't that 140, now (a larger number)? The only reason I ask is because I remember thinking that the buffer in my IBM 1403, at 140 characters of core memory, could hold a tweet. This post has no significance, other than as an 'istorical curiosity.

  3. Martin-73 Silver badge

    twitter is well named

    Not because of the 'twit' connotation, but because it's fast... I think that's what the originators intended by the name (at least partly). So yes, most of the responses to a tweet are going to be off the cuff, gut feeling things. The demise of the 140 character limit, to be honest, hasn't changed this much, it just lets people vent more loquaciously.

    The responses here in this october forum are much more considered.

    But yes, basically all this is reflecting is that 'most people who use twitter are racist and misogynist to a degree. So yes. But ... don't do news stories about it. Oh wait

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they deserved it?

    Just a thought!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe they deserved it?

      You fucking shit eating pile of crap! I hope you die of cancer!

      Maybe you deserve it?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        That would be a shit-eating pile of crap.

        It's not because you're being insulting that you shouldn't do it properly.

        1. jake Silver badge

          If ...

          ... a pile of crap ate shit, would anybody notice? Or care? Discuss.

          1. NorthernMonkey

            Re: If ...

            <discussion>

            Is there any functional difference between a shit that eats a pile of crap, vs a pile of crap that is shit-eating?

            </discussion>

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If ...

            "If a pile of crap at shit, would anybody notice? Or care?"

            Yes, that's cannibalism, horrible and probably likely to contribute to the cancer he's been cursed with. Though, perhaps he's pulling a Pizza the Hut and practicing auto-cannibalization, which is even worse!

  5. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Twitter is not a public service

    It's just a reflection of the open cesspit of humdrum borderline nasty thoughtless humanity.

    Personally I don't go near it anymore than I go near Facebook or LinkedIn.

    I don't like how the companies behind them operate, I mostly don't like how many people behave on them, and I don't like how they've become an almost accepted necessity.

    I certainly don't believe because I have issues with these services that they should be altered to accommodate me.

    I would prefer they were cleansed with fire, but individuals have to put up with the idiot herd mob wants.

    The only thing I'll fight tooth and nail on is them becoming a necessity due to real public service tie-ins. Bloody Smart Phones with android/ios are almost there already....

  6. Steve Evans

    Ah...

    Is this what Diane Abbott was prattling on about earlier, I tune her out and don't really pay attention...

    I guess she's still pulling the race/gender card whenever she gets some "abuse"...

    I've got some news for her, she doesn't get abuse because she's black, or female. She gets abuse because she's a feckin' idiot!

    Or maybe Piers Morgan should start a campaign because white males get abused on twatter.

    1. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Ah...

      Then I presume you'd be OK with banning any insult that mentions her race or gender or skin colour?

      I mean, 'stupid woman' is unnecessary. 'stupid thing' is OK.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang out in a sewer

    And you will get more than a wiff of crap.

  8. jake Silver badge

    "NEWSFLASH: Twitter still toxic."

    There. Fixed the headline for you.

  9. TheMeerkat

    Do you really have to publish this propaganda?

    1. Vanir

      propaganda

      Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples consist of

      Facebook

      Twitter

      Apple

      Google

      LinkedIn

      They have been more successful than the Roman Catholic Church ever was.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having looked at the pages linked from the article there is seemingly no suggestion that they tried to prove that this type of abuse isn't just platform wide rather than targeted (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2018/03/online-violence-against-women-methodology/).

    It seems to me that somebody decided that there was a lot of abuse towards women and specifically non-white women and figured that they had better find a way to prove it. With no reference to the general levels of abuse received by prominent figures of all sexes/genders/races these figures mean little other than that twitter continues to operate in the same way it always has. If you open yourself to that platform you are going to receive abuse but luckily there is a simple solution, stop using it. If you value the platform for what it is enough to tolerate the abusive messages then just ignore them (as i'm sure many already do).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disproportionate societary reactions?

      We are taught in most countries/societies to have men being strong and emotionless, and women being weak and emotional.

      If a man gets flack, he is to "suck it up", and this has poor results (high suicide rates :( ).

      If a woman gets flack, she is to call for help because she is too weak to walk away from the abuse, and this has poor results (more abuse :( ).

      We need to use the strengths of each, and promote the benefits and solutions, not continue to point fingers back and forth.

      Have both a method to refute or remove yourself from the abuse, and a method to ask for help or get back to real upbuilding communication.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Disproportionate societary reactions?

        My daughter was being bullied at school during recess. Known bully, all the kids were afraid of him. Went on for a week or more. So she went to her teacher. The teacher said "I saw nothing, you must be imagining things". The teacher was in the Teacher's Lounge at the time, so of course she didn't see anything.

        Next recess, the same kid commenced bullying my daughter again. So she went to the "yard duty" (an adult volunteer playground monitor). Yard duty said "I'm not allowed to discipline kids". So my daughter went to talk to the Principle. His secretary wouldn't let her in to see him.

        On the way back to class, the kid started bullying her again. So she decked the little turd. Hit him in the solar plexus. Knocked the wind out of him.

        The yard duty saw it. My daughter got frog-marched to the Principle's office. Teacher was called. I was called. Lots of kerfuffle ensued. They were going to suspend my daughter. For defending herself when no adult would step in. I pointed out the error of their ways, and my daughter went back to class to a hero's welcome from her peers.

        The kid went unpunished, but never bullied anybody at that school again, no thanks to any adult rules. Sometime's it's faster and cleaner to jump over the counter and get your own coffee, societal restrictions be damned.

        (To this day she's not certain why she didn't tell me or her mother when it first started happening. Probably something ugly and sociological.)

  11. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Amnesty International

    Great folks, but when did they get into the business of vetting social media?

  12. old_IT_guy

    Why does anyone give a flying fuck about what one person says and another finds offensive on a(n anti-)social media platform? Even if for some reason you do, if YOU take offence that easily simply stop using the damn thing.

    Note the directionality, you TAKE offence, then accuse someone of GIVING offence, it's entirely subjective, which one would presume prevents a sensible, fair and proportionate law from being formulated... (n.b. by chance I encountered and had a conversation with a UK government lawyer a month ago, I raised this point and received an entirely bullshitting answer, perfectly well suited both to the politicians who instructed her and her profession).

    Analogy: If you are waiting for a bus and get repeatedly soaked by cars driving through puddles from some recent rain you move back or walk to another bus stop or even to your destination. Continuing to stand at the bus stop complaining about the bastard drivers is just too stupid for words.

    1. Geekpride

      Your analogy seems to be suggesting that those who receive abuse on Twitter or other social media should stop using it. You've conveniently ignoring that, like it or not, it has become an important communication tool, meaning it's essential for politicians and other public figures to use it. Disagreeing with someone is fine, hurling abuse and normalising hate isn't, and Twitter should be doing more to stop it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Geekpride

        "You've conveniently ignoring that, like it or not, it has become an important communication tool, meaning it's essential for politicians and other public figures to use it"

        And you said that with a straight face!

        It's only an important communication tool because they have been told it is, as you yourself have just intimated.

        It's certainly not important to me as I am not on it, do not "follow" anyone, nor am I interested in the verbal diarrhea that usually passes for comment on the few that I have had the misfortune of seeing. To whit, POTUS.

        Judging by a lot of the comments on this site, it seems I am not the only person with this view.

        No one is forced to use these things despite what you may think, so yep, if you don;t like the crap you are receiving, then get off it. You only have one person to blame, and that's not the people who think it is OK to heap abuse on somebody else, but yourself for actually being on it.

  13. Martijn Otto
    Coat

    "said Dorsey, pining that tweet to the top of his timeline"

    Is this a very subtle reference to Monty Python here?

    tweeting => birds => parrot => dead parrot pining for the fjords

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "said Dorsey, pining that tweet to the top of his timeline"

      But Twitter isn't a parrot. It's a slug.

  14. Daedalus Silver badge

    Thin skins

    It was Private Eye's editor who noted that, whereas politicians tended to "take their medicine like men", it was journalists who had all the resilience of a wet paper bag holding a half brick, and would sue to recover such dignity as they thought they had on Grub Street. Sounds like they're as tough as ever.

  15. IGnatius T Foobar !

    only women? pfft.

    Twitter is a toxic place for pretty much EVERYONE.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: only women? pfft.

      Your comment is entirely correct, except for the words "pretty much"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Purple Peanut Butter...

    ...my heart bleeds it.

    Journos, politicos trolled, abused 'once every 30 secs'

    Some, not all, but some journos and politicos rank among the nastiest, most toxic people on Twitter today. It amazes me how some of them spew utter venom at anything and everything that fails to meet their rigid yet ever-evolving notions of morality... and then have the total gall to clutch their pearls and hide behind their credentials when their injudicious words are thrust back at them.

    Dear Nasty and Hateful Journos and Politicos: you do not, in fact, have a key to the Golden Crapper, neither on Twitter nor anywhere else. Don't want something? Don't start something.

  17. TsVk!

    words are not violence

    Not in any English dictionary.

    I'm not sure who's failing more. Twitter for hosting so many twits or Amnesty for trying to stop imaginary violence.

  18. James 47

    > Twitter’s failure to effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform has a chilling effect on freedom of expression online

    Hmm, no mention of SJW's using Twatter to destroy the online presence of those they find undesirable?

    Current example of Vice trying to crush an Asian female who loves all things tech:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FETt5JzufY4

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