Black female politicians, journalists disproportionately targeted, abused on Twitter, project finds

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 19.12.2018 13:15
Updated 19.12.2018 13:24
In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, file photo, the Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, file photo, the Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo)

Women were subjected to 1.1 million abusive or threatening messages on Twitter throughout last year, with black politicians and journalists receiving online abuse related to gender, race and sexuality much more often and at higher rates than their white counterparts, research has revealed.

Amnesty International and artificial intelligence company Element Al partnered up and conducted a research titled "Troll Patrol" in the United States and the United Kingdom, and revealed that black female politicians and journalists were disproportionately harassed and mentioned in abusive posts on social media when compared to other women.. Black women were 84 percent more likely to be mentioned in tweets.

he research analyzed 288,000 tweets between January and December 2017 about 778 female politicians in the U.S. and the U.K. as well as journalists working for prominent newspapers such as The New York Times, The Guardian and the Daily Mail.

Female Twitter users got "troubling and abusive messages" every 30 seconds, according to the research.

The crowdsourced project was conducted with the help of more than 6,500 volunteers from 150 countries.

Speaking about the results, Milena Marin from Amnesty International said they had reached data "to support the claim that Twitter allows racism, misogyny and homophobia" to be widespread on its platform.

Marin said that female politicians were often targeted on social media, while the ratio was especially high when it came to non-white users; women of color were targets of harassment 34 percent more than white women. One in 10 tweets sent to black women were problematic, while this figure was one in 15 for white women.

London-based Amnesty International said they asked Twitter authorities to publish the findings about the extent of abuse on the platform several times, but the company has not yet met its demands.

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