Twitter faces inquiry over internet trolls’ rape threats against MPs and activist, as man is arrested
Representatives from social media company expected to be called by Commons committee over threats of sexual violence against women
Executives from Twitter are likely to face tough questioning by MPs after users of the microblogging website allegedly threatened to rape two MPs and a feminist campaigner.
John Whittingdale, the chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said senior staff from the social media platform were likely to be summoned in the autumn, when the committee debates the issue of harmful online content as part of its child protection inquiry.
His comments came as Twitter faced further pressure to take tougher action against “trolls” who use the site to violently or sexually threaten other users. Scotland Yard has launched an inquiry into abuse directed at the MPs Stella Creasy and Claire Perry, and the activist Caroline Criado Perez.
A 21-year-old man from Manchester has been arrested and bailed until September on suspicion of harassing Ms Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned to have the author Jane Austen’s portrait placed on the Bank of England’s new £10 note. And a 25-year-old man was arrested in South Shields for allegedly harassing Ms Perez, the Conservative MP for Devizes, and Ms Creasy, the Labour Co-operative MP for Walthamstow, who spoke out in support of Ms Criado-Perez’s campaign.
Mr Whittingdale said it was “very possible” that the committee would want to talk to Twitter in the course of its inquiry. “It isn’t that the law needs to be changed: the question is how you identify people and how you prevent them [from abusing others online],” he said. “That is the big question and it is one we would wish to explore with internet companies to determine whether they are doing as much as they can or whether they should do more. I think that’s a very live issue.”
Twitter plans to include within every tweet a button for reporting abuse – a feature already available on its mobile application. Its director of trust and safety, Del Harvey, said it was “not blind to the reality that there will always be people using Twitter in ways that are abusive and may harm others”. She added: “[Our] rules explicitly bar direct, specific threats of violence against others and use of our service for unlawful purposes, for which users may be suspended when reported.”
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...