Man arrested after threatening tweets

29 July 2013

A 21 year-old man has been arrested in Manchester on suspicion of harassment offences, after a feminist campaigner received a torrent of abuse and threats of rape.

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Caroline Criado-Perez suffered the abuse on Twitter after successfully campaigning for a woman's face to appear on UK banknotes. The tweets began the day after it was announced that author Jane Austen's face would feature on the new £10 note. She reported receiving "about 50 abusive tweets an hour for about 12 hours" to the police, saying she had "stumbled into a nest of men who co-ordinate attacks on women".

Ms Criado-Perez allegedly reported the abuse to Twitter, but was told by the site to take her complaints to the police.

Labour has complained to Twitter about what it says was an "inadequate response". Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper wrote "Of course it is right to report such abuse to the police, but social media platforms also have a responsibility for the platform they give users." She added that Twitter should carry out a full review of its abuse and complaints policies.

In response to this and recent wide demand for an abuse button, Twitter has said that it is testing ways to simplify how it users can report abuse.

The social media platform's UK Head of Business Tony Wang tweeted last night (shown here) that the service was testing a service that would simplify reporting abuse and that accounts that breached rules would be suspended.

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