Twitter U.K. Addresses Rape Threats, but Twitter U.S.—Not So Much

Twitter, the company famous for building an empire on 140 characters' worth of thought, released a statement today in the form of an apology to women who've been abused on the site. 

Over the last few weeks, eight women in the U.K. have reported receiving a mass of detailed threats from various Twitter handles that involve rape, beatings, bombings and death. In response, a Change.org petition, which demanded the site enforce stricter rules and employ a more immediate way to report inappropriate tweets, reached well over 100,000 signatures.

Today, Twitter U.K.'s Tony Wang issued an apology to those women, which included a tougher version of the site's anti-harassment rules, and a promise that the next rollout would involve a "Report Abuse" button visible on each tweet. 

I personally apologize to the women who have experienced abuse on Twitter and for what they have gone through.

— Tony Wang (@TonyW) August 3, 2013

The abuse they've received is simply not acceptable. It's not acceptable in the real world, and it's not acceptable on Twitter.

— Tony Wang (@TonyW) August 3, 2013

Out of those targeted, Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist campaigner, received a deluge of graphic and violent tweets after pushing to have Jane Austen put on the ten-pound note.

She explained to Wired, "We're not battling with someone who just wants to annoy me. We're battling with someone who thinks I don't belong in the public sphere because I'm a woman."

Over much of the last week, Criado-Perez has received as many as 50 threats every hour. A few of the less graphic ones included these:

 

This is one of the many examples I get thru that do not come under free speech, but under harassment laws. pic.twitter.com/Myb9EK4tsE

— CarolineCriado-Perez (@CCriadoPerez) July 29, 2013

Why is this account still up @twitter? Does this not contravene ts & cs? pic.twitter.com/399TcOCiW7

— CarolineCriado-Perez (@CCriadoPerez) July 31, 2013

Anyone else think this is about attention seeking? Another death threat pic.twitter.com/QcvUgqZqoX

— CarolineCriado-Perez (@CCriadoPerez) July 31, 2013

While it's about time Twitter U.K. issued more definitive guidelines and direct opportunities to report abuse, users stateside are still waiting for similar means to hold their harassers accountable

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Original article from TakePart