The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
We need to talk about…Twitter #shoutingback #banknotes
Categories: blogging mums

It’s silly season; government is in recess and schools have broken up for Summer holidays so it’s time to expect outlandish fillers stories in the media. We’ve seen the unidentified whale-monster and the six legged octopus that became a calamari supper, but the week that began with news of a new Prince has also given birth to a host of trolls.

I’ve spent the weekend having a bit of a cringe over what I’ve seen happen on Twitter, not least because I hate to see great things overshadowed by naysayers. In fact, that’s just putting it mildly; I’ve been horrified at what I’ve seen.

Earlier this week I was surprised and delighted about the news that the #banknotes campaign, which I have whole heartedly supported, come good when the Bank of England announced that the next £10 note is to feature Jane Austen. Well done to The Women’s Room for this and also all the bloggers and everyone else that got involved. Sadly, there has been a shocking and despicable reaction on Twitter, with Caroline Criado-Perez being targeted by trolls, rape threats and even at one point an address thought to be hers was posted. Buoyed by her recent media profile, Caroline has been able to capitalise on this and get her voice heard on TV, radio and in the press so she’s been able turn the situation around very quickly and gather the support of men and women alike, even MPs and celebrities, to target Twitter for help and demand the addition of a report button on Twitter. Other targets of trolls have not been able to do this, I hope they feel some comfort in seeing this issue become a hotly debated one now.

Since Tony Wang, GM Twitter UK, posted these tweets yesterday, the debate has moved on.



It will be interesting to see what happens when the office doors of Twitter UK open tomorrow; if this isn’t resolved quickly it looks like there will be a mass exodus of Twitter for the #trolliday protest on August 4.

In April this year, Digital Human focused on trolls and it made for harsh listening. While I believe there is a case for a report button on Twitter, there needs to be a better route to prevention of trolling, when individuals are swarmed by vicious messages sent by a group of people, often working together to create an online storm. Until the social networks, government and police take on board the pain and dissatisfaction of the public, this will continue.

I won’t be leaving Twitter and believe it should be a safe place for people to network; you can sign the Change petition here to add your support to the campaign to add a button to report Abuse.

In the media:

Here’s a round up of some of the news items which have appeared online (links sourced via Google, there may be a lot more as this story develops):


Caitlin Moran’s #trolliday Twitter boycott will encourage trolls, not silence them (blog) - ‎19 hours ago‎
It was Moran who suggested that “all self-proclaimed pleasant people leave Twitter to the trolls for 24 hours”, in a boycott now with its own punning hashtag, #trolliday. But who are “self-proclaimed pleasant people”? Surely even bad people think they’re in the …

Twitter to make reporting abusive messages easier

Digital Spy UK - ‎1 hour ago‎
Responding to calls for Twitter being made “responsible for any criminal threats posted on it”, she continued: “I don’t think it’s realistic to make Twitter criminally liable for the threats, but I do think they need to step up and take responsibility for what is tweeted …

How Twitter should add tools to report abuse

MSN UK - ‎3 hours ago‎
The spark that started the Twitter storm concerns a campaign to get Jane Austen on a new £10 note. The effort was championed by journalist and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, who has since been subjected to vile taunts by Twitter trolls and at …

Twitter working to make reporting abusive tweets easier

GMA News - ‎40 minutes ago‎
“We’re testing ways to simplify reporting, e.g. within a Tweet by using the ‘Report Tweet’ button in our iPhone app and on mobile Web,” it quoted Twitter UK general manager Tony Wang as saying. CNET also quoted a Twitter representative as saying the …

Twitter Rape Row: Abuse At £10 Note Campaigner

Sky News - ‎21 hours ago‎
Twitter has become embroiled in a rape row after the woman who headed the campaign for a female figure on banknotes was subjected to vile sexual threats on the microblogging site. Caroline Criado-Perez received rape threats on Twitter nearly every …

Pressure on Twitter to install ‘report abuse’ button

Channel 4 News - ‎Jul 27, 2013‎
More than 10,000 people call for a Twitter abuse button, following rape threats and violent tweets targeting campaigner on women’s issues, Caroline Criado-Perez. Pressure on Twitter to install ‘report abuse’ button. (Getty). There are calls for Twitter to add the …

Twitter to simplify the reporting of abusive tweets, …

CNET (blog) - ‎17 hours ago‎
After an outcry in Britain over rape threats on Twitter, the company said a feature designed to make it easier to report abusive tweets when using Twitter on the iPhone would be coming to other platforms. The recipient of those threats expressed approval but …

Cooper calls on Twitter to act over abusive tweets

ITV News - ‎26 minutes ago‎
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has written to Twitter UK criticising its response to “appalling and unacceptable” comments made about a feminist campaigner on the site. Addressing the threats made against Caroline Criado Perez, she said: “The …

Jane Austen’s 10-pound note campaigner receives rape threats on Twitter

Business Standard - ‎6 hours ago‎
A woman who campaigned for Jane Austen to become the new face of the 10 pound note has been bombarded with hundreds of threats and comments on Twitter. Caroline Criado-Perez was also subjected to vile rape threats and other comments for more …

Rape threats putting pressure on Twitter to install ‘report abuse’ button

Daily News & Analysis - ‎4 hours ago‎
Ms Criado-Perez, from Rutland told the BBC that the form that allows Twitter users to report abuse is not adequate, asserting that the micro blogging site needs to be on the side of the victims. The petition states that abuse on Twitter is common and frequently …

Twitter UK chief responds to abuse concerns after campaigner is deluged with …

Appearing to respond to a petition that says Twitter’s “current reporting system is below required standards,” Twitter UK General Manager Tony Wang said in a series of tweets that the company “take(s) online abuse seriously” and will “suspend accounts that, …
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