Twitter rape threat lands UK man behind bars

British police

British police

A UK man has been arrested after posting rape threats on Twitter related to the bank of England’s decision to put make classic British Author Jane Austen the face of the country’s new 10-pound note.

The 21-year-old man, who hails from Manchester, was one of many involved in hurling a stream of abuse aimed at journalist Caroline Criado-Perez, who spearheaded the campaign to get more women on British currency. According to Sky News, a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said that, “the arrest is in connection with an allegation of malicious communications received by officers in Camden on Thursday, July 25”.

At one stage Criado-Perez was receiving upwards of 50 abusive messages an hour. The nature of the attacks aimed at her has led to the creation of an online petition aimed at making it easier for people to report abuse on the social network.

As The Verge reports, the petition has gathered over 50 000 signatures since its inception.

At present, Twitter only has a “report abuse” button on its iOS app. It does say that it’s looking at rolling out the service on its other apps, but hasn’t given a definite date for when that might be.

There has also been criticism of how long Twitter’s current abuse reporting system takes. A spokesperson for Twitter said: “We will suspend accounts that, once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules.

Criado-Perez told Sky News that “it was really really disturbing to find that something as small as asking for one woman on a banknote could result in such a barrage of threats of sexual violence.

“It’s just not acceptable and more than that it’s actually a crime and Twitter needs to take it seriously and the police need to take it seriously.”



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