Campaign update: you made #ToxicTwitter trend

Back in March 2018 our global grassroots movement unleashed a powerful storm on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. We demanded he take action to stop the online abuse of women.

Our calls

Women cop unrelenting, misogynistic abuse online from Twitter trolls. Huge numbers of women log on to their social media accounts and find rape threats, death threats, racist slurs and homophobic insults littering their feeds.

Social media platforms should amplify women’s voices – not silence them.

Earlier this year our report #ToxicTwitter: Violence and abuse against women online revealed that Twitter was failing to respect the human rights of women. It also outlined what the company could do to become a safer place for women online.

The truth is, sexism, racism and misogyny are what so many women’s #Moments are made of. And while Twitter said it was trying to tackle the abuse, it just wasn’t doing enough.

Everyone should have “the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers”. Yet women were being harassed and bullied into silence on Twitter’s watch.

We asked for your support to:

  • call out and challenge abuse of women online
  • pressure social media companies like Twitter to prohibit all forms of violence against women on their platforms.

And you didn’t disappoint!

How you helped

People from 100+ countries, from Afghanistan to Venezuela, sent more than 34,000 tweets to @Jack. And here in Australia, you sent more than 11,200 emails to the Twitter CEO. You rallied in the streets and you spread the word with stalls on your campuses and in your local communities. You chipped in to reach more than 2.5 million people on social media, and you helped project our message onto buildings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Together, we were so loud, Twitter had to listen. Last month, Jack Dorsey announced that Twitter will now try to find fake accounts by looking at dodgy behaviour, such as how frequently people tweet about accounts that don’t follow them or whether they have confirmed their email address.

Take a moment to be proud. We did this!

Projection on a building that says Twitter: Stop online abuse of women
Projection on a building on George Street in Sydney

What next?

The campaign hasn’t been won entirely yet. We know that Twitter’s reporting system is broken. In fact, as things stand, Twitter is still failing to enforce its own policies on abuse.
What we still need is a robust reporting mechanism that protects women from online abuse and allows them to be heard in a space free from threats of rape or death. But the new changes announced by Twitter don’t go far enough to make this happen.

We know there is a growing tide of women around the world who are speaking out against abuse — both online and offline — and we need you to keep taking action to amplify those voices.

Please, take a moment to read Amal Fathy’s story. Amal has been imprisoned in Egypt simply for posting her #MeToo story on Facebook and criticising the government on its women’s rights record. Women should have the right to speak out and share their stories, without threats to their freedom. Take action to demand Amal’s immediate release.