There are a total of 58 million tweets posted per day making Twitter a huge part of everyday life, including mine. Every little detail is an opportunity to tweet and let the whole world know what you are doing: “Today is a beach day #Summer2013”. Even though these simple posts can be seen to be harmless, it is becoming more common for certain tweets to lead to cyber bullying. Unfortunately, this is sadly going unnoticed.
These so-called twitter ‘trolls’ are becoming an existing problem in society today, with police having to investigate a number of new cases related to this issue. After a noticeable increase in abusive behaviour towards women on the micro-blogging site Twitter, a petition was put together, which has already gained an impressive 129,474 supporters. The aim was to try and make Twitter recognize that more needs to be done to make users feel safe and comfortable using this particular social networking site. This petition was for Twitter to create a report button on every tweet to improve the reporting system and to raise awareness for this type of behaviour, especially towards women.
This follows the recent attack on Caroline Criado-Perez, who has appeared in the media campaigning to get women to feature on banknotes. Shockingly 50 abusive tweets an hour were reported over 12 hours, which has made the use of a new ‘report button’ even more vital. This is just a simple example of how random people use twitter as a way of attacking well-known people and think of it as getting their voice heard. When in reality Professor Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University) sees this as having a ‘physically devastating effect’ on the victims — and I think I agree.
Twitter is a space where people publish their opinions, responses and retweets at their own accord, that does not mean random people have the right to attack other Twitter users without their being a tool to use to report this kind of behaviour. Victim of cyberbullying Caroline Criado-Perez tweeted “I’m reaching the end of my third day of rape threats. What is Twitter doing about this?”
This is a question that Twitter needs to resolve sooner rather than later! Fingers crossed this report button actually works.