UK Rape Threats On Twitter Met With US Silence, Then Promise

[update, 28 July 2013] On Wednesday, the Bank of England succumbed to pressure to put a woman on bank notes. By Thursday, the feminist campaign leader was being threatened on Twitter. Twitter's response?


  1. [update 1:30 pm Pacific 28 July 2013]

  2. [major update, 11.15 pm 27 July 2013] 

  3. On Friday its manager of journalism and news locked down his account -- took it private.
  4. Late Saturday on the west coast,  Alex Howard reported that Twitter had emailed GigaOm and the BBC, promising it would be “extending the ability to report tweets [to] all of its hundreds of millions of active users around the world.”
  5. That ability had been rolled out for Twitter iPhone users without fanfare. 
  6. As Howard notes, reporting abusive tweets is only half of the story. Determining legitimate complaints will require human review, which does not scale easily. And if the Secret Service has trouble determining what's really a threat against the president -- and Texas jails a teenager for off-the-cuff remarks made in a video game -- what is a private firm to do?
  7. The story as it ran before Twitter's announcement

  8. This is the second time this week that Twitter has gotten a black eye. Its advertising group was caught associating fake tweets with real Twitter users. 
  9. Note the timestamp. Tony Wang is the GM of Twitter UK.
  10. How the UK mess started

  11. The 19th century novelist Jane Austen will be the face of the 10-pound note thanks to a campaign led by feminist Caroline Criado-Perez. The Bank also acknowledged the need to review its selection process.
  12. "We warmly welcome this move from the Bank and thank them for listening to us and taking such positive and emphatic steps to address our concerns; to hear Jane Austen confirmed is fantastic, but to hear the process will be comprehensively reviewed is even better."
  13. The campaign was run under the auspices of The Women's Room, which provides a database of experts who are sortable by region as well as area of expertise for journalists to easily find women as sources for stories. 
  14. Then the threats