Twitter still to grasp the nettle

By Rhory Robertson and Tom Double

It was not so long ago that we wrote that Twitter appeared to be grasping the nettle and taking its role as a responsible social media platform seriously. However, Twitter’s abject failure to deal with the recent abuse levelled at Stan Collymore, an ex-Premiership footballer, suggests that its assessment might have been ill judged.

Collymore is no stranger to Twitter abuse, having been targeted on a number of occasions before. Where the identities of these trolls are ascertainable, the victim can seek to take the appropriate action, relying on criminal and/or civil laws. In 2012, for instance, Newcastle university law student Josh Cryer was given a two-year community order for sending a series of racist tweets to Collymore.

In July 2013, MP Stella Creasy, among others, was fiercely critical of Twitter’s dismissive response to her reporting the abuse she experienced, with the company suggesting that she ‘simply block’ those who offend her…

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