According to Amnesty International’s latest report, it discusses a lot of what we already know in terms of Twitter’s attitude towards female users: the social platform is toxic for women. The organization says that the platform continuously fails to respect women’s rights by “investigating and responding to reports of violence and abuse in a transparent manner.” For Twitter’s part, it’s inconsistent in enforcing its own policies and by failing to do that, it doesn’t provide a clear stance of what is and isn’t acceptable on the platform. This in turn creates a hostile environment.
Amnesty says that since Twitter isn’t completely defining what is and isn’t allowed, it makes the problem a human rights issue. Amnesty’s technology and human rights researcher Azmina Dhrodia told TechCrunch that the non-government organization is framing Twitter’s problem towards women as a human rights issue so that it will force Twitter to address the issue and enforce policies in a transparent way.
Here’s what part of Amnesty’s report reads:
“Twitter, as a company, has a specific responsibility to respect all human rights — including the rights to non-discrimination and freedom of expression and opinion — and to take concrete steps to avoid causing or contributing to abuses of those rights. This includes taking action to identify, prevent, address and account for human rights abuses that are linked to its operations. Specifically, as part of its human rights due diligence, Twitter should be assessing — on an ongoing and proactive basis – how its policies and practices impact on users’ right to freedom of expression and opinion as well other rights, and take steps to mitigate or prevent any possible negative impacts.”
The organization interviewed 86 women from the UK and US while working on the report, including regular users and public forgives like politicians, journalists, activists, bloggers, writers, comedians and game developers.
Last year, Twitter released policies that were meant to address sexual harassment and hate speech, but Amnesty says that they haven’t been enough to “tackle the scale and nature of Jolene and abuse against women” on the platform. In addition, Twitter has failed to provide the organization with useful data on how it responds to reports of abuse. The NGO wants Twitters to provide specific examples of the type of hate speech, threats, and other behaviors that it won’t tolerate, and wants the company draw a line on the platform.