Of course, Dr. Helen readers will not find this study shocking at all:
Half of all misogynistic tweets posted on Twitter come from women, a study suggests.
Over a three-week period, think tank Demos counted the number of uses of “slut” and “whore” as indicators of misogyny. It found evidence that 6,500 unique users were targeted by 10,000 abusive tweets in the U.K. alone.
The research comes as five U.K. MPs—Yvette Cooper, Maria Miller, Stella Creasy, Jo Swinson and Jess Phillips—launch their Reclaim the Internet campaign, in response to growing public concern about the impact of hate speech and abuse on social media.
The Demos study also looked at international tweets and found more than 200,000 aggressive tweets using the same words were sent to 80,000 people over the same three weeks. Demos used algorithms to distinguish between tweets being used in explicitly aggressive ways and those that were more conversational in tone.
Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones said: “This study provides a bird’s-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.
“While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it’s important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions.”
A start to a solution would be to stop blaming only men for all the internet attacks and to realize that letting women off scot-free without consequences for their behavior has led them to abuse others, both men and women, without even thinking about it. People engage in piss poor behavior because they are allowed to get away with it. I don’t think anyone has the right, particularly the government, to come in and “reclaim the internet” (whatever that means) by regulating it.
However, if the government wants to educate people, it should start by telling the truth and that is that women are as likely as men, or maybe even more likely, to harass and abuse people on the internet. Women tend to be covert and to use their verbal skills to hurt others. The internet makes a good cover for their aggressive tendencies. Why does this surprise anyone?
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