Twitter Is Apparently OK with Rape Threats Toward Women
Twitter trolling, the catcalling of the Internet, is an issue that many women have had to deal with — so much so that last year Rep. Katherine Clark demanded the Department of Justice intervene to protect against cyber abuse.
One of the fastest ways to protect against it, though, would be for Twitter to rigidly enforce their listed harassment policy that “you may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”
Unfortunately, that didn't happen when Medium software engineer Kelly Ellis began receiving vicious tweets from @fredcarson915.
Ellis received everything from multiple rape threats — "keep calm and get raped. (I'm starting a new line of t shirts) you like?" — to heinous name-calling like "psychotic man hating 'feminist,'" which she screenshotted and posted to Medium in an entry titled "I'm a verified Twitter user with 11k followers. Here's why I'm quitting the site."
The tweets go on and on and, as Ellis says, "has been going on for over a week." As if that wasn't awful enough, @fredcarson915 also began lashing out at everyone who interacted with Ellis on Twitter.
Naturally, Ellis blocked him but, even after, he kept tweeting at her. Because of how Twitter works though, Ellis wasn't able to report those tweets—a serious malfunction that needs to be addressed.
When she did report the initial tweets, the company sent her a baffling boilerplate response saying that they didn't find that @fredcarson915 violated their rules.
Again, Twitter's rules currently prohibit violence, attacks, and threats against people — including those issued "on the basis of gender." How could this blatant attack have slipped Twitter's radar?
Currently, @fredcarson915 is still tweeting, yet Ellis has had her hand forced out of the social platform — causing her to leave behind her online friends, colleagues, and contacts—unless she wishes to stay in this hostile environment.
When someone is wishing rape on another human being, that should set off an automated alert.
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