Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Shocking extent of misogyny on social media is revealed in new study

iStock_000073919951_Medium.jpg

In today's ever-connected digital world, it is all too easy for bullies to target their victims. And new research released today has revealed the shocking extent to which women on Twitter are regularly targeted by misogynistic bullying.

The research, which monitored how many times the words "slut" and "whore" were written in tweets, uncovered 10,000 misogynistic messages sent to 6,500 people in the UK in just three weeks.

And when the search was extended to worldwide users, over 200,000 misogynistic and aggressive tweets were found to have been sent to some 80,000 people - with over half of the messages being written by women themselves.

More than half of misygonistic tweets were sent by women

More than half of misygonistic tweets were sent by women

The research, conducted by Demos, also found that female celebrities were targeted the most by bullies, with Azealia Banks, Katie Hopkins, Hillary Clinton and online gamer LegendaryLeaTV receiving the most misogynistic tweets.

And the shocking results of the research reveal only a sample of the problem, with Alex Krasodomski-Jones, a researcher at Demos, warning that misogynistic bullying is not just constrained to Twitter.

"While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with us, it’s important to note misogyny is prevalent across all social media," he told The Guardian

"This is a stark reminder that we are frequently not as good citizens online as we are offline."

Hillary Clinton has been a target for online abuse

Hillary Clinton has been a target for online abuse

The findings from the research, which was conducted between April and May of this year, have persuaded MPs to join forces to tackle the issue of misogynistic bullying on social media.

Labour's Yvette Cooper and Jess Phillips, alongside Tory Maria Miller and former Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, have today launched an online forum called Reclaim The Internet to help open up the conversation on how we can reduce such cyber bullying in the UK.

The group are asking for victims, police, union members, employers and organisations to contribute ideas on how to reduce misogynistic bullying in key areas, including educating the next generation and the responsibility of social media platforms as publishers.

Yvette Cooper, who will be holding a Reclaim The Internet event in parliament today, told The Guardian she was inspired to launch the campaign by the "night movement" of the seventies, which saw women take to the streets to protest against violence, harassment and intimidation.

She said, "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.

"Challenging online abuse can’t be done by any organisation alone … This needs everyone.”

Facebook has also backed the campaign, although the social media giant do not always remove misogynistic comments from the site.

Yvette Cooper will speak out against misogynistic cyber bullying in Parliament today

Yvette Cooper will speak out against misogynistic cyber bullying in Parliament today

You can contribute your ideas on the Reclaim the Internet forum here

Related

Ice-cream_Florists_8.jpg

How to make ice-cream flowers

iStock_000063187529_Large.jpg

Facebook launches UK initiative to help women start their own business

beyonce power pose.jpg

Want to do well at work? You’d better learn to stand like a man

65889071_thumbnail.jpg

One in five UK couples are at risk of break-up, report finds

Peloponnese greece lonely planet top teo european holiday destinations 2.jpg

Where to stay in Lonely Planet's top 10 European destinations

eu ref.png

Shoppin, ravin, chattin: the new pro-EU campaign posters

trustnobody_3567_667.jpg

Illustrator captures the “frustrations, feelings and desires” of women

iStock_000071674951_Large.jpg

Get ready: London's giant gin hotel will open next month

More

The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017