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Why anti-immigrant rhetoric from politicians fuels racist abuse of black female MPs

Black women face a particular type of online abuse that targets both their gender and their race, campaigners say

Thursday 11 June 2020 09:02 BST
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Women MPs have previously warned vitriolic abuse has risen in the wake of the Brexit vote with some explicitly citing online harassment as prompting them to step down ahead of last year’s general election
Women MPs have previously warned vitriolic abuse has risen in the wake of the Brexit vote with some explicitly citing online harassment as prompting them to step down ahead of last year’s general election (PA)

The flood of racist abuse and death threats black female MPs have endured after voicing support for Black Lives Matter protests raises questions about whether online harassment of women politicians has worsened in recent years.

Women MPs have previously warned vitriolic abuse has risen in the wake of the Brexit vote, with some explicitly citing online harassment as their reasoning behind stepping down ahead of last year’s general election.

Research into abuse against women politicians and journalists on Twitter, carried out by Amnesty International in 2018, found black women were disproportionately singled out by trolls – with black women 84 per cent more likely than white women to be referred to in abusive or problematic tweets.

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