As a company, Twitter is failing to respect women’s rights online.
Twitter is a social media platform used by hundreds of millions of people around the world to debate, network and share information with each other. From high-level female politicians to journalists, activists, writers and bloggers, to women who simply want to know what’s happening around them – Twitter can be a powerful tool for women to make connections and express themselves. In fact, the company has touted itself as a place where ‘every voice has the power to impact the world’.
But for many women, Twitter is a platform where violence and abuse against them flourishes, often with little accountability. As a company, Twitter is failing in its responsibility to respect women’s rights online by inadequately investigating and responding to reports of violence and abuse in a transparent manner.
The violence and abuse many women experience on Twitter has a detrimental effect on their right to express themselves equally, freely and without fear. Instead of strengthening women’s voices, the violence and abuse many women experience on the platform leads women to self-censor what they post, limit their interactions, and even drives women off Twitter completely.
At a watershed moment when women around the world are using their collective power to speak out and amplify their voices through social media platforms, Twitter’s failure to adequately respect human rights and effectively tackle violence and abuse on the platform means that instead of women using their voices ‘to impact the world’, many women are instead being pushed backwards to a culture of silence.