Post Reply Twitter abuse - '50% of misogynistic tweets from women'
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Posted 5/27/16

Over a three-week period, think tank counted the number of uses of two particular words as indicators of misogyny.

It found evidence of large-scale misogyny, with 6,500 unique users targeted by 10,000 abusive tweets in the UK alone.

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has said that tackling abuse is a priority.

The research comes as UK MPs - Yvette Cooper, Maria Miller, Stella Creasy, Jess Philips - alongside former Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson, launch their Reclaim the Internet campaign, in response to growing public concern about the impact of hate speech and abuse on social media.

Yvette Cooper is among five female MPs launching the Reclaim the Internet campaign
The campaign has opened an online forum to discuss ways to make the internet less aggressive, sexist, racist and homophobic.

Launching the campaign, Ms Cooper told the BBC: "The truth is nobody knows what the best answers are. There is more when there is criminal abuse, for example rape threats, that the police should be doing but what is the responsibility of everyone else? What more should social media platforms be doing?"

She said that the campaign was an opportunity for the public to "put forward their proposals and demands for the changes we want to see".

In response to the survey, Twitter's head of trust and safety Kira O'Connor told the BBC: "Hateful conduct has no place on the Twitter platform and is a violation of our terms of service.

"In addition to our policies and user controls, such as block, mute and our new multiple tweet reporting functionality, we work with civil society leaders and academic experts to understand the challenge that exists."

The Demos study also looked at international tweets and found more than 200,000 aggressive tweets using the words, "slut" and "whore", were sent to 80,000 people over the same three weeks.

Analysis: Jane Wakefield, Technology reporter

The commonsense approach to posting comments on social networks would be to never say anything online that you wouldn't say to someone's face but that simple rule seems to be regularly ignored.

Being able to post anonymously helps and, in many ways, social networks have become the modern day equivalent of a natter over the garden fence or a gathering on the village green - but on a global scale.

And just as in the old gossip circles of old, there will be people whose comments are meaner or more aggressive than the rest, so that is amplified online. And now the voices of the trolls can be heard and they can pick victims - generally people they don't know - pretty much at random.

Abuse on social networks is not new and neither is the revelation that women contribute to the problem.
A 2014 study from cosmetics firm Dove found that over five million negative tweets were posted about beauty and body image. Four out of five were sent by women.

The bigger question is what can be done about it?

We have seen in recent years the police take the issue much more seriously and trolls have faced lengthy prison sentences. Some have made public apologies to their victims.

Education will be key. Teaching youngsters who haven't yet joined social media platforms that politeness is not a dying art and that if you say hurtful things online, they could genuinely cause distress, may give the next generation pause for thought before they start typing.

Stark reminder

Demos used algorithms to distinguish between tweets being used in explicitly aggressive ways and those that were more conversational in tone.

Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones said: "This study provides a birds-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.

"While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it's important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions."

She added that it was not about "policing the internet" but was more "a stark reminder that we are frequently not as good citizens online as we are offline".

Thousands have responded to the hashtag #ReclaimtheInternet, with many congratulating the female MPs for starting the campaign.

Others though questioned how effective the campaign would be, with some questioning whether it would damage free speech.


http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36380247

Internalized patriarchy
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Posted 5/27/16 , edited 5/27/16
How did they know it was women? Is Twitter one of those things you can't make a fake account on? While I disagree with social engineering in certain cases, with others I feel merely raising awareness is good.
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Posted 5/28/16
Well it gotta be 50-50 right? #Equallity
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Posted 5/28/16

Freddy96NO wrote:

Well it gotta be 50-50 right? #Equallity
the common willingness for people to be sexist isn't equality......it's sexism. -_-
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Posted 5/28/16

FlyinDumpling wrote:
it's sexism. -_-
hey don't be a sexist..

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Posted 5/28/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

How did they know it was women? Is Twitter one of those things you can't make a fake account on?


I'm guessing that the number of fake Twitter accounts is just a non-issue. I doubt taking them into account would affect the results very much.

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Posted 5/28/16

Freddy96NO wrote:


FlyinDumpling wrote:
it's sexism. -_-
hey don't be a sexist..
that's advice worth following
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Posted 5/28/16
Basically, folks are upset that people are saying what they feel on the Internet? Sure, let's put our fingers in our ears and pretend the world is all sunshine and rainbows. We all know that throwing a bag of dog shit in a closet and forgetting about it equates to the shit never existing. Right? I get that the owners of Twitter have every right to enforce the rules of their business, but let's not exaggerate the worth of censorship or disregard its dark side.
Posted 5/28/16
"Spent all my time searching for love, sucking at the wet end of numerous d****, time I should've spent being emotionally available to my children. Now, all my children are grown up, and I wonder why they show no appreciation for me, and only have unhealthy relationships-- like myself. They should be thankful that I bothered to s*** them out into this world; to be alone, without guidance, let alone good examples. Bah! It's all because of men! I'm so oppressed!"

Well, snap. Better prohibit the use of certain words on twitter. That ought to remedy quality maternal instincts.
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Posted 5/28/16 , edited 5/28/16
shoe on my head writes
I now like boyz... oh wait.. I don't...
But again what will happen to social media's like Twitter and tumblr in a year or 10?
I guess its the end of the world just ask any world destroying movie that is 100% accurate.
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Posted 5/28/16

Hrafna wrote:

"Spent all my time searching for love, sucking at the wet end of numerous d****, time I should've spent being emotionally available to my children. Now, all my children are grown up, and I wonder why they show no appreciation for me, and only have unhealthy relationships-- like myself. They should be thankful that I bothered to s*** them out into this world; to be alone, without guidance, let alone good examples. Bah! It's all because of men! I'm so oppressed!"

Well, snap. Better prohibit the use of certain words on twitter. That ought to remedy quality maternal instincts.


I think twitter actually did do that. Gotta keep the fragile flowers safe somehow.

runec 
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Posted 5/28/16

D4nc3Style wrote:
Over a three-week period, think tank counted the number of uses of two particular words as indicators of misogyny.


Not that I think it will change anyone's preconceived notions here but:

The methodology only tracks the use of the words "slut" and "whore" then runs them through an in house program to try and determine if they were aggressive or offensive in nature or not. They have no methodology for determining the gender of Twitter accounts.

So it makes for a snappy clickbait headline but the details are murkier than the headline would lead you to believe.



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Posted 5/28/16 , edited 5/28/16

runec wrote:


D4nc3Style wrote:
Over a three-week period, think tank counted the number of uses of two particular words as indicators of misogyny.


Not that I think it will change anyone's preconceived notions here but:

The methodology only tracks the use of the words "slut" and "whore" then runs them through an in house program to try and determine if they were aggressive or offensive in nature or not. They have no methodology for determining the gender of Twitter accounts.

So it makes for a snappy clickbait headline but the details are murkier than the headline would lead you to believe.





Demos (the ones who ran the study) explicity state "In this 2016 research, 50 per cent of the propagators were found to be women" in their press release. They likely had a simple program checking the gender of the poster.

What I am more interested in is their algorithm. I'd love to see a list of those tweets. In their 2014 report, they briefly give a few examples of what they consider to be "threatening/abusive" uses of the word "rape", including:

"@^^^ Can I rape you please, you'll like it"

As for "generally misogynistic" uses of "slut/whore":

"Why take photos lookin like a slut and then moan when people say bad things?? You bought hate upon yourself and you know it"

I mean sure, they aren't exactly glowing, but I don't think we should be frightened of these posts or attempt to censor the internet because of them.
runec 
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Posted 5/28/16

sundin13 wrote:
Demos (the ones who ran the study) explicity state "In this 2016 research, 50 per cent of the propagators were found to be women" in their press release. They likely had a simple program checking the gender of the poster.


It does state that but it does not lead with that for sensationalism. Point was though that they're pulling gender data from Twitter profiles. Thats not even a reliable method on CR, nevermind Twitter.



sundin13 wrote:
What I am more interested in is their algorithm. I'd love to see a list of those tweets. In their 2014 report, they briefly give a few examples of what they consider to be "threatening/abusive" uses of the word "rape", including:


Yeah, I read through the 2014 study. The algorithm was trained by comparing it to the same determinations made by a person reading the Tweets. So, scientifically speaking, its still effectively at least somewhat subjective. Which is why all the language in the study says "we estimate" instead of "we determined" or "we discovered". Online misogyny is a difficult thing to parse into hard numbers.

The study also focuses on what is more casual or every day misogyny. Which is a problem, yes, but I am more concerned about the Gamergate style of misogyny. The threats, doxxing, trying to ruin women's lives and careers, etc just because they stated an opinion. That's what I would have liked to have seen some research on as I can guarantee you that is not "50% women".

Focusing just on instances of the words "slut" and "whore" then determining how they were used almost feels like kind of a cheap trick to get the "50% women" finding. Especially given the 2014 study shows trends in relation to episodes of Celebrity Big Brother. If the new study likewise focuses on stuff like that I question just how useful it will be.

While the study focuses on a relevant problem, it seems like its doing so at the expense of the much larger elephant in the room. And, as this thread indicates, just giving guys more ammo to make blanket dismissals about online misogyny.

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Posted 5/28/16

runec wrote:
Yeah, I read through the 2014 study. The algorithm was trained by comparing it to the same determinations made by a person reading the Tweets. So, scientifically speaking, its still effectively at least somewhat subjective. Which is why all the language in the study says "we estimate" instead of "we determined" or "we discovered". Online misogyny is a difficult thing to parse into hard numbers.

The study also focuses on what is more casual or every day misogyny. Which is a problem, yes, but I am more concerned about the Gamergate style of misogyny. The threats, doxxing, trying to ruin women's lives and careers, etc just because they stated an opinion. That's what I would have liked to have seen some research on as I can guarantee you that is not "50% women".

Focusing just on instances of the words "slut" and "whore" then determining how they were used almost feels like kind of a cheap trick to get the "50% women" finding. Especially given the 2014 study shows trends in relation to episodes of Celebrity Big Brother. If the new study likewise focuses on stuff like that I question just how useful it will be.

While the study focuses on a relevant problem, it seems like its doing so at the expense of the much larger elephant in the room. And, as this thread indicates, just giving guys more ammo to make blanket dismissals about online misogyny.



Not gonna get into GG stuff here, but while I would agree the majority of GG was male, there was a lot of horrible stuff going on from both sides. Feminists and Anti-GG are not above doxxing and trying to ruin lives.

I think the heart of the issue of online harassment is that the issue is not really based on gender, even if what words are used to insult someone may be. The solution to this is not ending misogyny, but instead creating a more respectful culture (which is easier said than done).

This study was tangentially related to that and focused more on perceptions of "slut" as a negative trait/insult, which is fair (and I think that the general consensus is that women tend to slut-shame as much if not more than men) but it isn't the same issue as "online harassment" (even if it is marketed as such).
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