Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“I am not safe”: Twitter ignores 5,000 rape messages sent to MP Jess Phillips

GettyImages-533664802.jpg

Jess Phillips has been left "bitterly disappointed" after Twitter decided not to act over the thousands of rape messages she received earlier this week.

The Labour MP said she was sent around 5,000 abusive tweets in just 36 hours after launching the cross-party initiative Reclaim The Internet, which aims to tackle the misogynistic abuse women face on social media, last Thursday. Of those thousands of tweets, 600 were rape threats - all of which she was subjected to over the course of Sunday evening.

Twitter then responded to the MP's attempt to report the abuse by stating that the tweets did not "violate" their rules, leading Phillips to brand the social media site as "not safe".

Twitter deemed that the abusive messages did not violate their rules

Twitter deemed that the abusive messages did not violate their rules

In a furious response to the lack of action taken by the social media site, Phillips wrote on telegraph.co.uk, "The targeted harassment I have suffered... is persistent, illegal harassment, specifically designed to harm and silence me – and worse, to do the same to the people who interact with me

"If these were letters to my office the police would currently be fitting panic buttons and telling me to stay away. Yet Twitter appears willing to do absolutely nothing."

Describing how users on the site were debating the violent ways in which they wouldn't rape her, because they deemed her "officially not good enough for a raping", Phillips expressed her dismay that messages with such graphic content could be seen as acceptable by those who run the social media site.

"I hear them tell me that 'we reviewed the content (of your rape-y abuse) and determined that it was not in violation of the Twitter Rules' and my heart sinks. I am not safe there," she wrote. "Nothing will change, while those who profit from this activity keep turning away."

The MP noted that she didn't report the abuse in the way an MP would "usually" do so, having chosen to go down the "route others have to take" by pressing the site's public report button rather than emailing a contact.

The resulting lack of action she received left her "bitterly disappointed" and she issued a stark warning to other users of the site, writing, "Today, Twitter is colluding with my abusers; tomorrow it will do the same.

"Let’s hope that tomorrow it is me again who bears the scars, not your fragile son or daughter who might take it to heart."

Phillips helped launch Reclaim the Internet last week after research revealed the shocking extent of misogyny online, with over 200,000 abusive tweets sent to 80,000 users over a three week period: sadly, the abusive messages she was sent herself illustrate the urgent need for such an initiative.

Jess Phillips received 5,000 abusive messages over 36 hours

Jess Phillips received 5,000 abusive messages over 36 hours

Related

words no translation 3.JPG

Infographic compiles 50 untranslatable words to expand your vocabulary

charlotte church new interview 2016 online abuse trolls.jpg

Charlotte Church on dealing with “hardcore” online abuse

iStock_000073919951_Medium.jpg

Shocking extent of misogyny on social media revealed in new study

iStock_000091479671_Medium.jpg

Lucy Mangan on the legal precedent for psychological abuse

harman.jpg

Harriet Harman criticises lack of female voices in EU debate

facebook study gender words.jpg

Study reveals gender differences in the language we use online

beyonce power pose.jpg

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

amber heard granted domestic violence restraining order johnny depp divorce.jpg

Amber Heard granted restraining order against Johnny Depp

iStock_000079404861_Medium.jpg

Three cheers for cake: the clean eating backlash is here

Comments

More

Angelina Jolie slammed for “cruel” experiment on impoverished children

The children were selected from orphanages, circuses and slum schools

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jul 2017

Kate Hudson has shaved her head (and now we want to, too)

The actor showed off her new buzzcut on Instagram

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jul 2017

Women are to blame for BBC gender pay gap, apparently

“I suspect they let it happen”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Rihanna's squad goals to Kate Beckinsale's birthday surprise

by Nicola Colyer
27 Jul 2017

You need to read Jennifer Aniston’s epic tribute to BFF Jason Bateman

Find someone who talks about you the way Aniston talks about Bateman

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017

Michelle Obama on pain she felt after enduring racism as first lady

Rather than pretending she wasn’t hurt, Obama wants to own her scars

by Moya Crockett
27 Jul 2017

Usher’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden is most hilarious one yet

The pair’s chemistry is positively off the charts

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017

Angelina Jolie diagnosed with Bell’s palsy following Brad Pitt split

‘I cry in the shower, not in front of my children’

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Jul 2017

That viral Tinder couple just met for the first time on live TV

Watch their sweet-yet-awkward rendezvous

by Anna Brech
26 Jul 2017

Men earn more so they can support their wife and kids, says BBC actor

Tom Chambers has apologised for his controversial comments

by Moya Crockett
26 Jul 2017