Women online are frequently attacked in the form of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, threats, and stalking.
Example 1: A woman poses a simple question about tampons.
The woman is then subjected to 24 hours of vitriol where her appearance, anatomy and politics are degraded and mocked.
Example 2: A woman calls for a stand against misogynistic gaming culture.
She is then subjected to months of threats, verbal abuse and name-calling.
Example 3: A woman on television argues that guns are not the solution to rape.
She gets racist rape threats.
According a Pew study, 25% of young women have been sexually harassed online and 26% experienced stalking. Women are disproportionately targeted by the most severe forms of abuse.
Women can now report their online harassment thanks to an "unprecedented collaboration" between Twitter and Woman, Action and The Media (WAM!), a nonprofit dedicated to gender justice in the media.
The pilot project will support all Twitter users experiencing gendered harassment and abuse on the platform, including racial, LGBT, and other kinds of oppression, WAM! announced in a press release Thursday.
The WAM Twitter Harassment Reporting Tool lets users fill out this form to report online harassment.
WAM! will pass along verified complaints to Twitter within 24 hours and track their response to different gendered harassment.
After the pilot test, WAM! will analyze the data and use it to work with Twitter "to better understand how gendered harassment intersects with other types of harassment, how those attacks function on their platform, and to improve Twitter's responses to it."
"The disproportionate targeting of women online results in them removing their voices from the public conversation," Jaclyn Friedman, Executive Director of WAM!, said in a statement. "We're so glad that Twitter recognizes that the best way to ensure equally free speech for all users on their platform is to ensure that all users are equally free to speak without being targeted by harassment, abuse and threats."