Women have been telling Twitter for years that they endure a lot of abuse on the platform. A new study from human rights watchdog Amnesty International attempts to assess just how much.
A lot, it turns out. About 7 percent of the tweets prominent women in government and journalism receive were found to be abusive or problematic. Women of color were 34 percent more likely to be targets than white women. Black women specifically were 84 percent more likely than white women to be mentioned in problematic tweets.
After an analysis that eventually included almost 15 million tweets, Amnesty International released the findings and in its report, described Twitter as a “toxic place for women.” The organization, which is perhaps best known for its efforts to free international political prisoners, has turned its attention to tech firms lately, and it called on the social network to “make available meaningful and comprehensive data regarding the scale and nature of abuse on their platform, as well as how they are addressing it.”
“Twitter has publicly committed to improving the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation on our service,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy, and trust and safety, said in a statement in response to the report.
“Twitter’s health is measured by how we help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking. Conversely, abuse, malicious automation, and manipulation detract from the health of Twitter. We are committed to holding ourselves publicly accountable towards progress in this regard.”