Man arrested and bailed over Twitter abuse of Labour MP Stella Creasy and Caroline Criado-Perez

 

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The Independent Online

A man has been arrested and bailed after a Labour MP and a campaigner were subjected to a torrent of violent abuse on Twitter.

The 32-year-old man was held in Bristol following allegations made by Labour MP Stella Creasy and campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, who received a barrage of threatening messages from internet 'trolls' on the micro-blogging site.

Ms Criado-Perez, who successfully fought for a woman's face to appear on £10 banknotes, spoke out after she was targeted online last month.

Walthamstow MP Ms Creasy drew a similar tirade of sexually aggressive messages after she offered her support to the campaigner.

The suspect was questioned at a local police station on suspicion of committing an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act. He has been bailed to return to a central London police station in late September pending further inquiries.

Ms Creasy and Ms Criado-Perez are among a number of prominent women recently targeted by so-called 'trolls' sending criminal threats.

'Trolls' are social media users who insult and intimidate others in order to get a reaction. Such users often post under a pseudonym.

Historian and broadcaster Mary Beard has also been on the receiving end of violent twitter threats in the last few days.

A number of female journalists recently came forward to report a series of rape and bomb threats.

They were allegedly sent to Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, Independent writer Grace Dent and Europe editor of Time magazine Catherine Mayer. Similar messages were also sent to Sara Lang, a social media manager at US campaign group AARP.

Twitter has said it plans to make reporting abuse easier by bringing a “report abuse” function already available on the iPhone app version of the micro-blogging site to other phones and platforms.

The boss of Twitter in the UK, Tony Wang, has apologised to women who have experienced abuse on the site.