Female Twitter users of color reportedly face more verbal abuse and online harassment according to a recent report released by Amnesty International.
The nonprofit reportedly asked Twitter to release “meaningful information about reports of violence and abuse against women, as well as other groups, on the platform, and how they respond to it,” but the company refused. So, Amnesty took matters into its own hands.
“We have built the world’s largest crowdsourced data set about online abuse against women,” Milena Marin, senior adviser for tactical research at Amnesty International, said in a statement. “We have the data to back up what women have long been telling us—that Twitter is a place where racism, misogyny and homophobia are allowed to flourish basically unchecked.”
Amnesty International’s report found that 7.1 percent of tweets sent to 778 female journalists and politicians in the U.S. and the U.K in 2017 were abusive, per Wired. Women of color were 34 percent more likely to be harassed than White women; Black women received the brunt of the targeted language, with one in every 10 tweets sent to them were viewed as abusive.
The organization relied on a team of over 6,500 volunteers to look at 288,000 tweets between January and December of 2017.
“We found that, although abuse is targeted at women across the political spectrum, women of color were much more likely to be impacted and black women are disproportionately targeted. Twitter’s failure to crack down on this problem means it is contributing to the silencing of already marginalized voices,” Marin said in a statement to Wired.
“Abuse, malicious automation, and manipulation detract from the health of Twitter,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s legal, policy, and trust and safety lead, wrote in a response to Amnesty, which was provided to WIRED. “We are committed to holding ourselves publicly accountable toward progress in this regard.”