No matter which platform you’re on, I think we can all agree that to some extent, social media can be toxic. If you don’t believe it, there’s data evidence to prove it, at least for Twitter. London-based non-government organization Amnesty International wanted to showcase that Twitter is an abusive place for women. Wired shared, “On Tuesday, it launches an interactive website detailing the results of a crowdsourced study into harassment against women on Twitter.” Senior adviser for tactical research at Amnesty International also voiced out the drive behind finding the data. “We have the data to back up what women have long been telling us—that Twitter is a place where racism, misogyny, and homophobia are allowed to flourish basically unchecked.”
The set gathered was from 778 women journalists and politicians and showed that “7.1 percent of tweets sent to them last year were abusive of problematic.” Honestly, I am not surprised at this number because many of these trolls hide behind screens, fake names, photos, and personas. They can say whatever the want without having to face any sort of consequence. I am all for free speech but once it turns abusive, it needs to stop.
Wired also brought up that “Twitter has pledged to improve the health of its platform,” but this doesn’t seem to be the case given this study. Hopefully, this can serve as a lesson not just for the people behind Twitter but for those who use the platform. The least we could do is be more mindful of what we put out there and how it affects our peers.