Online social media has become one of the largest presences on the Internet, from Facebook to tsu and Google+ to Twitter, there’s no shortage of social media sites. One of the largest problems with social media is trolling and harassment, particularly harassment of women. Twitter has announced it is partnering with WAM (Women, Action and the Media) to take steps to curb the online harassment of woman. A survey conducted by Pew Research showed that 25% of women between 18-24 have experienced sexual harassment online and 26% have experienced online stalking. Contrast that with 13% of men 18-24 being harassed while 7% experienced online stalking.
“The disproportionate targeting of women online results in them removing their voices from the public conversation,” Friedman said. “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.”
Twitter has allowed users to report other users in the past, but WAM’s reporting is different as it caters to woman and the harassment which women unfortunately must deal with. Currently the form is only available on WAM’s website, but Twitter is endorsing this new reporting system along with its own reporting system. Harassment and trolling – which amounts to nothing more than simple online bullying – is a big problem on the Internet for both sexes. People find themselves feeling more powerful when hidden behind a computer screen, and they feel as if they can say what they want without repercussion. There’s no denying that it’s a real problem. Hopefully more social media outlets will follow what Twitter and WAM are trying to do here, though it would be nice to have it cater to everyone and not just one demographic, but it’s a start.
What do you think of Twitter and WAM’s efforts to curb harassment? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.