Politicians coming together for women? You’ve gotta love that. And I do!
Three different parties are coming together to start a national campaign against online misogyny. Yvette Cooper, former Conservative minister Maria Miller, Jo Swinson, a former Lib Dem MP, and Labour’s Jess Phillips are coming together to create awareness and start a conversation about exactly how to address the increasing amount of online abuse directed at women.
According to a study by Demos on social media misogyny, released by the Reclaim The Internet campaign, 6,500 individuals were targeted by 10,000 aggressive and misogynistic tweets in a three week time period. The study monitored the use of the words “slut” and “whore” by UK Twitter users over three weeks from the end of April. I
Ms Cooper told the BBC’s Today programme.
“I think the real concern is if young women in particular end up feeling like that they have to censor themselves on social media because of the abuse that they might get,”
“The problem is as well, where it can become misogynist, where it can become racist or homophobic that can drive some voices out of that debate, or where you get really persistent coordinated abuse that is effectively a form of stalking or harassment.”
She added: “If you are making rape threats and violent threats to kill people, or if it persistent, targeted, deliberate abuse over a long period of time when people have asked you to stop. Well that is a bit like stalking legislation, so there are things that the police can do. At the moment the police aren’t really equipped to be able to take action in those sorts of cases.”
Reclaim the Internet will be launched on TODAY via the online forum Discourse.org. They are calling for contributions from individuals, organisations, employers, union members, victims, police and tech companies. Cooper said the Reclaim the Internet event, to be held at the Commons on Thursday, is a “call to arms”. The politicians will appear as well as unions and women’s groups and even representatives from Facebook and Twitter. Check out the conversation on Twitter
#ReclaimtheInternet – @InternetReclaim
Have you ever been called hateful names online? How did you deal with it? Do you think online violence against women is an issue? Let’s talk about it in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @AngieGreaves