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    Amnesty's 'Toxic' Twitter Rally Sows Discord on Social Network

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    Today, as Twitter, the major social network, celebrates its 12th anniversary, Amnesty is there to stand on guard for the fairer sex’s honor and dignity. Not everyone, however, lauds the move, and here’s why.

    Amid a growing number of complaints about online abuse and violence targeting women, Amnesty International has drafted a report and launched a special campaign under the hashtag #ToxicTwitter to bring the issue to the limelight.

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    Having interviewed over 80 women, including public figures like politicians, journalists, along with average Twitter users, the London-based human rights watchdog has found that Twitter is repeatedly failing to address abuse and violence against women, thereby disrespecting their human rights.

    Internet users, naturally, weighed in on the debate straight away. Under the hashtag #ToxicTwitter, both men and women rushed to have their say. 

    A number of men notably remarked that the accusations by Amnesty are far-fetched and to a great extent hyped:

    A number of people made an attempt to bust the accusations against Twitter, saying that men get the most virtual abuse on the social platform — something that is frequently disregarded by women. One user thinks women play double, as they generally struggle for equality but simultaneously "whine" about online abuse and disrespect:

    Most of internet users seem to share Amnesty’s point of view, whereas others chose to determine first who should be considered "toxic" users.

    Some single out right-wing enthusiasts as the least tolerant and patient ones, whereas there are those saying a belligerent attitude can be observed in all political camps and in people of different walks of life:

    Others have called to post nothing at all or…. cute furry cats if there is nothing else positive to share with the on-line community.

    One user, however, has come to believe that Facebook is way more toxic than Twitter:

    Some see the online verbal abuse issue as just the tip of the iceberg:

    The testimony of female users that the report – also titled #ToxicTwitter – is based on, sheds light on the horrid nature of cursing and abuse that they receive on Twitter, including death and rape threats, as well as racist and homophobic comments.

    The survey that Amnesty did in the run-up to the report found that of the over 1,000 British women polled, 78 percent denied Twitter being the right place to speak out, due to the platform’s inability to deal with the abuse issue.

    "It’s clear that Twitter has become a toxic place for women… The trolls are currently winning, because despite repeated promises, Twitter is failing to do enough to stop them," said Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, according to the NGO’s press release.

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    Tags:
    social networks, abuse, violence, women, Twitter, Facebook, Amnesty International, United States, United Kingdom
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