Half of Misogyny on Twitter Comes From Women

Twitter
A think tank found evidence that 10,000 abusive tweets were sent to 6,500 people within three weeks in the U.K. alone. Damien Meyer/Getty

Half of all misogynistic tweets posted on Twitter come from women, a study suggests.

Over a three-week period, think tank Demos counted the number of uses of “slut” and “whore” as indicators of misogyny. It found evidence that 6,500 unique users were targeted by 10,000 abusive tweets in the U.K. alone.

The research comes as five U.K. MPs—Yvette Cooper, Maria Miller, Stella Creasy, Jo Swinson and Jess Phillips—launch their Reclaim the Internet campaign, in response to growing public concern about the impact of hate speech and abuse on social media.

The campaign has opened an online forum to discuss ways to make the internet less aggressive, sexist, racist and homophobic.

The Demos study also looked at international tweets and found more than 200,000 aggressive tweets using the same words were sent to 80,000 people over the same three weeks. Demos used algorithms to distinguish between tweets being used in explicitly aggressive ways and those that were more conversational in tone.

Researcher Alex Krasodomski-Jones said: “This study provides a bird’s-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.

“While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it's important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions.”