International NGO focused on human rights, Amnesty International, has alleged that Twitter has failed to investigate and respond to cyber-bullying cases happening with women in a transparent manner. The NGO released the report titled #ToxicTwitter: Violence and abuse against women online” on Tuesday (March 20).

The report says that women find the online space of Twitter as a platform where they suffer from abuse and violence, often with little accountability. It further claimed that rather than strengthening women’s voice on the platform, activities happening against them lead them to self-censorship and limited online presence.

The report’s researchers have interviewed a total 86 women. They conducted these surveys both individually and in groups in Britain and the US. A case in point is that of Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, who faced numerous abusive tweets after she lost the Brexit battle.

“As the world becomes increasingly connected online, our reliance on social media platforms such as Twitter has also become increasingly important. But the online world, and social media platforms like Twitter are not immune to many of the human rights abuses that women face offline,” – Amnesty report

“Online abuse is unacceptable for women in politics, just as it’s unacceptable for a woman anywhere to suffer that kind of abuse,” Sturgeon was quoted as saying.

In the 16 months of research, the report noted that women on Twitter experience direct or indirect threats of physical or sexual violence, discriminatory abuse targeting one or more aspects of a woman’s identity. They also bear the brunt of targeted harassment, and privacy violations such as doxing or sharing sexual or intimate images of a woman without her consent.

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Twitter claims that it is a place where “every voice has the power to impact the world”.

However, its failure to adequately respect human rights and effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform means that instead of women using their voices “to impact the world”, it pushes many women backwards to a culture of silence, the report said.

It added, “As the world becomes increasingly connected online, our reliance on social media platforms such as Twitter has also become increasingly important. But the online world, and social media platforms like Twitter are not immune to many of the human rights abuses that women face offline.”

Picture credit- Cosmopolitan

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