Between December 2016 and March 2018, Amnesty International conducted qualitative and quantitative research about women’s experiences on social media platforms including the scale, nature and impact of violence and abuse directed towards women on Twitter.
The research highlights the particular experiences of violence and abuse on Twitter against women of colour, women from ethnic or religious minorities, lesbian, bisexual or transgender women, non-binary individuals, and women with disabilities, to demonstrate the intersectional nature of abuse on the platform.
Overall, the findings paint a worrying picture that Twitter can be a toxic place for its female users. The company’s failure to meet its responsibilities regarding violence and abuse means that many women are no longer able to express themselves freely on the platform without fear of violence or abuse.
1. Twitter should publicly share comprehensive and meaningful information about the nature and levels of violence and abuse against women, as well as other groups, on the platform, and how they respond to it.
2. Twitter should improve its reporting mechanisms to ensure consistent application and better response to complaints of violence and abuse.
3. Twitter should provide more clarity about how it interprets and identifies violence and abuse on the platform and how it handles reports of such abuse.
4. Twitter should undertake far more proactive measures in educating users and raising awareness about security and privacy features on the platform that will help women create a safer, and less toxic Twitter experience.