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Pushing back the trolls

Twitter has unleashed offensive behaviour of a type unseen in real life, which the government must now tackle decisively, says James O'Flinn

8 August 2013

With approximately 500 million users, and over that number 
of tweets sent per day, Twitter has established itself as the foremost means by which to get a short, concise message 
out to the masses for celebrities, politicians and businesses alike. However, where Twitter breaks down barriers and allows access to high profile figures, monitoring the huge amount of content is becoming increasingly difficult.

Troll attacks

In the last month, a string of attacks were launched via Twitter on Caroline Criado-Perez, the writer and feminist campaigner behind the push to feature Jane Austen's image on banknotes. As a result of her work, she began receiving threats via Twitter to rape and kill her.

Labour MP Stella Creasy, who had publicly supported Criado-Perez's campaign, also received threats from Twitter trolls, including a tweet of a picture of a masked man wielding a kitchen knife. Mary Beard, a classics professor at Cambridge and anoth...

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