Chances are if you’re a woman and you use Twitter, you’ve been harassed. But now one organization is trying to help. WAM!, aka Women, Action, & the Media, is partnering with Twitter. Their partnership is aimed at cutting down on the harassment that women face on the social media site.
The women’s organization is running a pilot project for people to report abuse that is due to their gender. The group will then take the validated reports to Twitter and track Twitter’s responses to different kinds of gendered harassment. At the end of the test period, WAM! will then analyze the data and use it to help Twitter improve their responses to the gendered harassment.
A recent Pew research study found that fully 25 percent of young women have been sexually harassed online and 26 percent have experienced stalking. What’s more, Pew found that women overall are disproportionately targeted by the most severe forms of online abuse.
Jaclyn Friedman, Executive Director of WAM!, said of the project, “We’re thrilled to be working with Twitter to make their platform safer for women. The disproportionate targeting of women online results in them removing their voices from the public conversation. We’re so glad that Twitter recognizes that the best way to ensure equally free speech for all users on their platform is to ensure that all users are equally free to speak without being targeted by harassment, abuse, and threats.”
What’s nice about this new form is that people can report multiple users at once, instead of having to submit an individual form for each Twitter handle that has been harassing them. It also allows people to report the harassment in more detail than the old one. The form lets users say if someone is impersonating them, threatening them with violence, doxxing, posting false information, attacking them with hate speech, telling others to harass the user, or posting revenge porn, and it also allows the user to write in their own response.
The new form was created for free by an experienced developer who was concerned about the increasing amount of harassment women have to deal with online. You can report something you see happening too. So if you see a friend or even another woman who you don’t know getting harassed, report it.