Rights group finds Twitter still failing women over online violence and abuse

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available to all.  

Twitter is still not doing enough to protect women from online violence and abuse, despite repeated promises to do so, new analysis by Amnesty International has revealed.

The Twitter Scorecard grades the social media company’s record on implementing a series of recommendations to tackle abuse against women on the platform, since Amnesty first highlighted the scale of the problem in its 2018 Toxic Twitter report.

But Amnesty said “despite some welcome progress, Twitter needs to do much more to address the problem. The company has fully implemented just one of ten concrete recommendations, with limited progress in increasing transparency on how it handles reports of abuse.”

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

“Twitter is still not doing enough to tackle the deluge of abuse women face on the platform. Our analysis shows that despite some progress, Twitter is not doing enough to protect women users, leading many women to silence or censor themselves on the platform,” said Rasha Abdul Rahim, Co-Director of Amnesty Tech.

“We have outlined clear, straightforward steps that Twitter can take to make its platform a safer place for women to express their views. Twitter can and must do more to protect women from abuse.”

Since the release of Toxic Twitter in 2018, Amnesty International said it has continued to highlight the scale of abuse women face on Twitter, including in ArgentinaIndiaUK and USA. Women have continued to speak out about the abuse they experience on Twitter, and the company’s failure to adequately respond.

According to Amnesty International, the persistent abuse women face on the platform undermines their right to express themselves equally, freely and without fear.

“This abuse is highly intersectional and women from ethnic or religious minorities, marginalized castes, lesbian, bisexual or transgender women – as well as non-binary individuals – and women with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by abuse on the platform,” the organization said.

“Being a Tamil, mixed-caste woman, who speaks out against India’s discriminatory caste system, has proved an explosive mix on Twitter. I receive a torrent of racist and misogynistic abuse, including rape threats. Twitter always seems to be playing catchup and is too slow to address the different types of abuse women face. Twitter is a powerful place to express ourselves, but Twitter needs to do more to clean up the platform and make it a safe place for women,” said Indian author and activist, Meena Kandasamy.

Amnesty International said it provided Twitter “with concrete recommendations on how it can better meet its human rights responsibilities, highlighting ten we believe are key to helping to tackle online abuse against women.”

The Twitter Scorecard uses a traffic light system to grade Twitter’s progress in implementing the recommendations, which cover transparency, reporting mechanisms, and enhanced privacy and security features. Red means the recommendation has not been implemented, amber indicates work in progress, and green means the recommendation has been fully implemented.

The human rights group acknowledged that “due to the lack of meaningful data Twitter provides, it is difficult even to gauge the full extent of the problem.”

“For example, Twitter still does not provide detailed country-level breakdowns of user reports of abuse, nor does it provide data about how many users report specific kinds of abusive language, for example abuse based on gender or race.

“Twitter is also reticent about disclosing detailed information about the number of content moderators it employs, including what kind of coverage they provide across different countries and languages.

“The social media platform needs to be more transparent as to how it designs and implements automated processes to identify online abuse against women. While Twitter has disclosed details on how it is using algorithms to combat misinformation during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is yet to provide the same level of transparency on how algorithms are used to address abusive tweets,” the organization said.

But not everything is bad, the organization added. It said “Twitter has made welcome progress in some areas, including improving the appeals process, by offering more guidance to users on how the process works and how decisions are made. The company was graded amber for its efforts towards increasing users’ awareness of privacy and security features and in educating users on the harm such abuse causes.”

“Twitter has a responsibility to respect human rights, including the rights to live free from discrimination and violence and to freedom of expression and opinion.

“It is totally in Twitter’s power to implement these changes that would make a real difference to millions of women’s experience on the platform,” said Michael Kleinman, Director of Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative.

“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey needs to match words with action to show he is genuinely committed to making Twitter a safer place for women. We will continue to press the company until we see more changes that truly show that abuse against women is not welcome on the platform,” Amnesty International added.

What’s Twitter saying?

In response to our analysis, Twitter acknowledged it needs to do more. However, the company said its combination of human moderation and use of technology, allows it to take a more proactive response to online abuse.  On publishing disaggregated data by country or region, Twitter argued this could be open to misinterpretation and give a misleading impression of the problem.

While Amnesty International acknowledges that context is important, there is nothing to stop Twitter providing context alongside data, and the company’s human rights responsibilities means it has a duty to be transparent in how it deals with reports of violence and abuse.


Today News Africa
Today News Africahttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Africa shocked U.S. under Trump has worst coronavirus response in the world

President Donald Trump has "failed in his basic duty to protect Americans", world's renowned journalist Bob Woodward told Fox News Sunday...

Nigerian activists sue President over electricity tariff and fuel price hike

Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 302 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the...

Anxiety in Africa as Johnson & Johnson conceals critical details about COVID-19 vaccine illness

Anxiety continued to mount across Sub-Saharan Africa on Monday over COVID-19 vaccine trials by Johnsons & Johnson, as the company continued...

Maduro’s ally Alex Morán asks West African regional court to halt extradition to U.S.

A Special Envoy to the Government of Venezuela, Alex Nain Saab Morán, has urged the West African regional court, the ECOWAS...

Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed with terrorism

As human rights organizations continue to warn that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship, his administration on...

“This is worse than COVID-19”, Ethiopian migrants describe “hell” in Saudi prisons

An investigation by Amnesty International has exposed horrifying new details about the treatment of Ethiopian migrants detained in Saudi Arabia. Since...

Johnson & Johnson resumes COVID-19 vaccine trials without providing information over illness as anxiety remains in Africa

Johnson & Johnson on Friday announced that it was resuming a COVID-19 vaccine trials in the United States without providing enough...

54.2 million Americans have already voted representing 39.4% of total votes counted in 2016

At least 54.2 million Americans have already voted, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project website, putting the 2020...

U.S. smashes daily COVID-19 record with more than 83,000 new cases

The United States reported 83,010 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to The COVID Tracking Project, the highest number of infections...

Guinean security forces kill 8 people, including 3 children, during election protests in Conakry

Guinean security forces have killed at least eight people, including three children,  during demonstrations in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Since presidential elections on October 18,...

What the Joseph Robinette Biden presidency would mean for Africa – Perspectives by Simon Ateba

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., the 47th vice president of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017, is...

Trump says Sudan and Israel have agreed to normalize relations

President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Sudan and Israel have agreed to normalize relations."President @realDonaldTrump...

Buhari justifies mass killings of Nigerian protesters by security forces under his orders, calls them ‘miscreants and criminals’

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday justified the mass killings this week of Nigerian protesters by security forces under his orders, saying...

Johnson & Johnson resumes COVID-19 vaccine trials without providing information over illness as anxiety remains in Africa

Johnson & Johnson on Friday announced that it was resuming a COVID-19 vaccine trials in the United States without providing enough information over what exactly led to the pause."The independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB) overseeing the ENSEMBLE study has recommended resuming trial recruitment," the company said in a statement."Following consultation with the...


[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]