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#TwitterSilence and #InspiringWomen

Caroline Criado-Perez received an all-too-common wave of abuse and rape threats for her campaign to having a woman on a Bank of England note. This weekend just past, there were a couple of Twitter hashtags to protesting the abuse of women online: #TwitterSilence and #InspiringWomen.

Twitter is a commercial service, not an open medium. When the idea to just not tweet for a day popped up in whatever article I was reading (#TwitterSilence), it caught my eye. Not using a company’s product, a company that will have extremely good traffic monitoring – that company just might notice! Twitter did indeed respond to the issue, after the idea of a #TwitterSilence was put out there. Maybe it worked, maybe not. The same issue saw a lot of commentary, some who didn’t like the idea of a day’s silence. So some people stayed quiet for a day, some chose instead to praise #InspiringWomen, some just tweeted as normal. Everybody wins!

Hopefully, Twitter will successfully find a mechanism that isn’t as slow, heavy-handed, and famous-cases-only-please as relying upon police intervention to deal with viciously abusive behaviour online.

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