A study by Amnesty International and Element AI shows that comments on Twitter towards women are disproportionally high.

The organisations sampled thousands of tweets received by 778 women who are politicians and journalists from the UK and the U.S. between January-December 2017 and analysed in March 2018.

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“Online abuse targets women from across the political spectrum – politicians and journalists faced similar levels of online abuse and we observed both liberals and conservatives alike, as well as left and right leaning media organisations, were targeted,” the report notes.

This study also found that women of colour are more likely to be impacted – with black women surveyed disproportionately targeted with problematic or abusive tweets by 84% compared to white women.

The organisations maintain that Twitter and similar companies “have a responsibility to respect human rights, which means ensuring that women using the platform are able to express themselves freely and without fear”.

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The report lists the following recommendations to address this issue: 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.
  • improve its reporting mechanisms to ensure consistent application and better response to complaints of violence and abuse.
  • provide more clarity about how it interprets and identifies violence and abuse on the platform and how it handles reports of such abuse.
  • 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.

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See the breakdown of the numbers below.

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