Yvette Cooper leads campaign to ‘reclaim the internet’ from sexist trolls
Labour’s Yvette Cooper is leading a cross-party campaign to tackle online misogyny.
The former Labour leadership candidate today launched a campaign to ‘Reclaim the Internet’, fighting back against the online abuse that women face every day online.
Cooper launched the campaign alongside the Tory equalities select committee chair Maria Miller, former Lib Dem equalities minister Jo Swinson, and Labour’s Jess Phillips.
Think-tank Demos released an analysis of social media misogyny, tracking the use of the words “slut” and “whore” by Twitter users in the UK.
It found that more than 6,500 individuals were targeted in the UK, with more than 10,000 tweets sent.
Ms Cooper said: “Forty years ago women took to the streets to challenge attitudes and demand action against harassment on the streets.
“Today the internet is our streets and public spaces.
“Yet for some people online harassment, bullying, misogyny, racism or homophobia can end up poisoning the internet and stopping them from speaking out.
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“We have responsibilities as online citizens to make sure the internet is a safe space. Challenging online abuse can’t be done by any organisation alone … This needs everyone.”
The campaign seeks to engage with officials from Facebook and Twitter to develop new methods of dealing with abuse, while an online forum aims to gather submissions from the public.
Demos Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones said: “This study provides a birds-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.
“While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it’s important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions.”