Nishtha KanalJul 29, 2013 15:53:40 IST
At the centre of a successful campaign to make Jane Austen the face of the £10 note is brewing a Twitter controversy. A woman who campaigned to have the novelist’s face appear on the British banknote has faced repeated rape threats on the micro-blogging website.
Caroline Criado-Perez, a journalist, feminist campaigner and founder of The Women's Room UK, led a campaign to have Austen replace Charles Darwin as the face of the £10 note in the country. The Bank of England on Wednesday agreed to make Austen appear on the note by 2017, a decision that doesn’t seem to have gone down well with some people on Twitter.
In the eye of the storm
Criado-Perez was subjected to hundreds of threatening tweets, many hinting towards rape and other forms of violence. In one instance, the journalist reported that she had received over 50 threatening tweet mentions in a single hour. Criado-Perez’s supporters were quick to draw Twitter into the matter, showing their dismay over the fact that the micro-blogging site does not do too much to protect users against such troll attacks. Some even called for a boycott of the service till the matter got solved.
Twitter, of course, has zero tolerance for such abusive behaviour but does not possess a team large enough to be able to go through each and every tweet that is put up. It relies on users to mark a tweet as abusive, something that Criado-Perez’s supporters seem to now be doing.
Some of her supporters have come up with a petition asking Twitter to provide for a report abuse button next to every tweet. They believe it will give victims like Criado-Perez a faster way to deal with such abusive behaviour.
Reports have also emerged that a 21-year-old man has been arrested in Manchester in conjunction with the rape threats.