A study of tweets received last year by 778 female U.S. and U.K. journalists and politicians revealed that they were attacked on Twitter approximately every 30 seconds.
The “Troll Patrol” project, a joint effort by Amnesty International and Element AI, a software product company, revealed that about 7 percent of 1.1 million tweets mentioning the 778 women were “problematic” or “hostile,” an average of about two per minute.
Women of color were 34 percent more likely than white women to be abused.
Black women were 84 percent more likely than white women to be abused.
“Using cutting-edge data science and machine learning techniques, we were able to provide a quantitative analysis of unprecedented scale of online abuse against women in the UK and USA,” Amnesty International said on its website. “Our findings reinforce Amnesty International’s previous research.”
Previous findings by Amnesty International include a March 2018 report called “Toxic Twitter: Violence and Abuse Against Women Online” that concluded “Twitter is failing in its responsibility to respect women’s rights online by failing to adequately investigate and respond to reports of violence and abuse in a transparent manner.”
In August, Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey was harshly criticized for not banning from the platform conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who, among many other wild and unfounded claims, accused the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School of staging the entire thing.
“We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules,” Dorsey tweeted at the time.
Jones was banned the following month.
“Online abuse against women on this scale should not and does not have to exist on social media platforms,” Amnesty International said. “Companies like Twitter have a responsibility to respect human rights, which means ensuring that women using the platform are able to express themselves freely and without fear.”