Saturday 23 September 2017

Man arrested over rape-threat tweets against journalist

Caroline Criado Perez
Caroline Criado Perez

Alex Diaz

A MAN has been arrested in connection with a barrage of hostile tweets to a feminist campaigner, including threats to rape and kill her.

Caroline Criado Perez faced a deluge of threats on Twitter over the course of more than a day after she successfully campaigned for a woman's picture to be put on a new bank note.

British police said a 21-year-old was arrested in Manchester on suspicion of harassment offences after officers in London received a complaint of malicious communications. A campaign in support of Ms Criado Perez, calling on Twitter to introduce a button to allow speedy reporting of abuse, has already received more than 12,500 signatures and she has received support from MPs and celebrities.

There are also attempts being made to organise a boycott of the free social media platform on August 4.

Ms Criado Perez said: "It's sadly not unusual to get this kind of abuse but I've never seen it get as intense or aggressive as this.

" It's infuriating that the price you pay for standing up for women is 24 hours of rape threats. We are showing that by standing together we can make a real difference. We made the Bank of England change its mind, we can do the same with Twitter."

Ms Criado Perez, a freelance journalist, organised a campaign which included a petition signed by more than 35,500 people after the Bank of England decided to replace Elizabeth Fry with Winston Churchill on new £5 notes.

The move would have meant there were no women apart from the queen on sterling banknotes.

Her campaign was a success, with an announcement by the bank last week that the author Jane Austen will feature on the new £10 note in 2017.

Tony Wang, the general manager of Twitter UK, tweeted: "We encourage users to report an account for violation of the Twitter rules by using one of our report forms."

But UK Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has written to Mr Wang criticising Twitter's response. "I urge you to go further and ensure that Twitter carries out a full review of all its policies on abusive behaviour, threats and crimes, including more help for Twitter users who experience abuse, a clear complaints process and clear action from Twitter to tackle this kind of persecution," she said.

Irish Independent

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