Leigh, Georgina, Hayley, Andre, Daniel, Shane and Julia from AbPhab talked about Hate on Twitter. Here is their report:
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking site on the Internet. Twitter lets people to make and share comments, ideas or opinions with each other. Twitter allows communities across the world to come up with good ideas or stand up for their rights.
So how does it work?
Anyone over 13 can sign up or register to use Twitter. People registered to Twitter may write a message about what they think or feel and post the message online. Anyone with an Internet connection can read the messages. Twitter works a bit like birds tweeting or chirping to each other across trees in huge forest. Twitter has 500 million tweets a day!
Twitter for good
Twitter is a good way to spread news and make people think and learn. Here are some examples. A woman called Lucy Hawking wrote a letter about disabilist language which was published in the Guardian newspaper. The letter explained how disablist language can hurt people. Many people read the letter because they heard about it on Twitter. We use Twitter to make people aware of disability bullying and hate crime.
Who uses twitter?
Lots of different people use Twitter. Twitter is full of people making interesting and sometimes funny or sad comments. But some people use Twitter to make hateful messages. Hateful message are sent to people about their sexuality, their religion or faith or their disability.
Recently, a famous comedian called Sue Perkins left Twitter because she was receiving death threats from people. A famous Chef called Jack Monroe also left Twitter because of homophobic abuse. People who make hateful comments are called Trolls. Trolls bully other people using Twitter. Trolls create fear. Trolls stir up hatred.
Hate and ignorance is not only directed at famous people. Hateful comments may be directed to anyone. Some people make hateful comments using hash tags. For example, they may use disabilist hashtags like #spaz or #retard. These hash tags are hurtful. These hash tags are hateful.
Twitter and safety
Twitter is a company that invented a very clever technology to help people share who they are with the world. The company has a responsibility to provide a safe space for all people. This is especially important because the company Twitter is encouraging people to share. People share pictures of themselves, their ideas, their thoughts and their identities. Companies that provides a space for young people must make sure that everyone is safe from hateful comments and behaviour.
The owners of Twitter are very rich because over 300 million people use Twitter. Some of profit from Twitter should be spend on safety. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have a responsibility to stop hate. Twitter has some good ways to report hate.
You can mute or block or report hateful messages. But is Twitter doing enough to keep everyone safe? Can Twitter do more? Can everyone do more to stop hate?