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Twitter Too Slow to Act on Abusive Content: British MP

According to a report in The Guardian on Monday, Yvette Cooper who also founded the "Reclaim the Internet" campaign on online abuse has written to Twitter, asking it to explain its methodology and timescales for removing graphic pictures and sexually explicit messages.

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Updated:August 22, 2017, 4:24 PM IST
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Twitter Too Slow to Act on Abusive Content: British MP
Twitter Too Slow to Act on Abusive Content: British MP (photo for representation, image: News18)
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A British Labour Party leader has accused Twitter of acting too slow while taking down graphic images of suspected rape and abuse cases even after such tweets were reported. According to a report in The Guardian on Monday, Yvette Cooper who also founded the "Reclaim the Internet" campaign on online abuse has written to Twitter, asking it to explain its methodology and timescales for removing graphic pictures and sexually explicit messages.

"Twitter plays a really important role in breaking news, stimulating debate, raising public awareness of major events and allowing people simply to keep in touch with friends and family. "But that's why it's so important that this is a platform that isn't poisoned by abuse, violent threats, and intimidation," Cooper was quoted as saying. The letter seeks from Twitter the details of the average time taken to investigate reports and take down tweets, and its policy on the removal of tweets and suspension of accounts.

The letter further asked the micro-blogging site about the number of employs who actively keep a tab on abusive content. The comments from Cooper surfaced after images of an apparent rape and of a woman who posed in a sexually explicit way while being tied on a bed appeared the social media platform. Though the accounts were suspended shortly after they were flagged and reported, Cooper has accused Twitter of being too slow and doing too little.

Cooper and her team have also alleged, on the basis of data they gathered, that threats and abuse to the female British MPs remained visible on Twitter for over a week. "Twitter claims to stop hate speech but they just don't do it in practice. Vile racist, misogynist, and threatening abuse gets reported to them but they are too slow to act, so they just keep giving a platform to hatred and extremism," Cooper noted.

After the official figures showed a 20 per cent rise in hate crime in the first quarter of this year, the Crown Prosecution Service announced to treat online hate crime as seriously as offenses carried out face to face.

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