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Published On: Tue, Jul 30th, 2013

Manchester man arrested for Twitter rape threats made against Caroline Criado-Perez

Police in the United Kingdom arrested a 21-year-old Manchester man this weekend after he allegedly sent a barrage of sexual violence laced tweets to a feminist who was pushing to get the Bank of England to put “Pride and Prejudice” author Jane Austen on the 10 pound note.

Jane Austen Image Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Jane Austen
Image Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Women’s rights activist and co-founder of the Women’s Room,  Caroline Criado-Perez, reportedly received 50 or so rape threats and other abusive tweets an hour, in fact, one individual sending these tweets created the account, @rapehernow.

“The threats have been so explicit and so graphic that they’ve sort of stuck with me in my head and have really put me in fear,” Criado-Perez told the BBC. “It’s infuriating that the price you pay for standing up for women is 24 hours of rape threats.”

After backing Criado-Perez, Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy became victim of the abusive tweets, in fact one tweet said “I’m gonna rape you and put the video on the internet.”

Creasy said of the tweets, “It is vile, absolutely vile. It’s not about sexual attraction, it’s about power. It is somebody trying to make you frightened. It is about sex as a weapon.

“It’s not just me. Women who speak out in public life, especially if they champion equality, get serious abuse.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper contacted Twitter UK  criticizing its “inadequate” response to the “disgraceful, appalling and unacceptable” tweets and abuse Criado-Perez went through.

“Despite the scale and seriousness of these threats, the official response from Twitter continues to be extremely weak – simply directing Caroline away from Twitter towards the police, and, belatedly, directing users to abuse-reporting forms on Twitter, Cooper said.

“Of course it is right to report such abuse to the police, and it is very important that they investigate and pursue this case. But social media platforms also have a responsibility for the platform they give users. And in particular they have a responsibility not to tolerate this kind of abuse, rape threats and potentially criminal behaviour.”

Miss Criado-Perez’s experience prompted more than 60,000 people to sign an online petition calling on Twitter to introduce a button for reporting abuse within every tweet.

The company agreed, saying: “The ability to report individual tweets for abuse is currently available on Twitter for iPhone, and we plan to bring this functionality to other platforms, including Android and the web.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Twitter delivers Access for all, Regrettably that means bullies and perverts too | ZuckerBot says:

    […] Manchester man arrested for Twitter rape threats made against Caroline Criado-Perez (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

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