Almost two in three Twitter users do not feel they are protected against abuse
YouGov’s survey of over 1,000 GB Twitter users shows that 64% do not feel the social media network protects them against those who send abusive messages, while a quarter (25%) do feel protected. Furthermore, although a quarter (25%) know how to make a complaint to Twitter about abusive tweets, seven in ten (70%) do not.
The research was undertaken in the wake of several high-profile women – including feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, Labour MP Stella Creasy and historian Mary Beard – all receiving anonymous abuse on the microblogging platform.
YouGov’s survey shows that one in five (20%) Twitter users know people subjected to anonymous abuse on social networks and blogs and one in twelve (8%) have themselves been victims. Almost three quarters (74%) have neither been victims nor know anyone who has.
Among the victims of online abuse, one in five (20%) victims successfully had the messages removed but the same number (20%) were unsuccessful in their attempts to do so. The majority (52%) of those who have been attacked did not try to have the comments taken down.
More than six in ten (61%) support changing the law so websites have to immediately take down abusive comments after they receive a complaint while just over one in five (22%) oppose such a move.
Although the majority (51%) believe web hosting companies should do more to remove offensive comments, a quarter (25%) think free speech should be protected, and it is impractical or undesirable for to remove abusive messages. Meanwhile, seven in ten (70%) Twitter users want websites to provide the IP addresses of people leaving abuse so they can be traced, with 15% opposing this measure.