Twitter has teamed up with a leading women’s advocacy group to battle sexual harassment on the social network.
Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!), a “people-powered independent nonprofit dedicated to building a robust, effective, inclusive movement for gender justice in media”, says that online harassment of women is now occurring on an “unprecedented” scale. Indeed, a recent Pew Research study found that a quarter of young women online have been sexually harassed online and 26 percent have experienced stalking.
“The vicious targeting of women who speak up online has reached crisis levels,” said WAM! “Examples of the impact these attacks are having on women’s lives are everywhere. Women of color, queer women, trans women, fat women, and other oppressed groups of women are especially targeted and abused.”
“That’s why, starting today, WAM! is running a pilot project to support all Twitter users experiencing gendered harassment and abuse on the platform, including abuse that intersects with racial, lgbt and other kinds of oppression users face on Twitter.”
WAM! has set up a Twitter Harassment Reporting Tool to help expedite complaints to Twitter.
“WAM! will escalate validated reports to Twitter and track Twitter’s responses to different kinds of gendered harassment. At the end of the pilot test period, WAM! will analyze the data collected and use it to work with Twitter to better understand how gendered harassment intersects with other types of harassment, how those attacks function on their platform, and to improve Twitter’s responses to it.”
The WAM! form is significantly more detailed than Twitter’s own abuse reporting tool, asking a large number of questions, and also supports reporting multiple Twitter users at the same time. However, taking action on the complaint will still be Twitter’s responsibility.
“We’re always trying to improve the way we handle abuse issues, and WAM! is one of many organisations we work with around the world on best practices for user safety,” said Twitter in a statement.
(Twitter image via Shutterstock.)