Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Arrest after UK activist targeted online

29 July 2013, 10:44

London — British police on Sunday arrested a man in connection with online threats made toward a feminist campaigner, a case which has ignited calls for social media platforms to institute stronger protections against verbal abuse.

Caroline Criado-Perez says she has been facing a deluge of abuse — including threats to rape and kill her — over Twitter during the past several days. She said the threats started after her campaign to get a woman's picture on a UK bank note succeeded and resulted in the Bank of England's announcement last week that author Jane Austen will feature on England's new £10 notes.

In Britain, hundreds of people are prosecuted every year for Facebook posts, tweets, texts and e-mails deemed menacing, indecent, offensive or obscene. But while there have been several cases of online threats directed at sports figures and politicians, the verbal assault against Criado-Perez appears to have ignited an unrivalled response and backlash against Twitter itself.

The graphic and offensive threats come as combating the scourge of violence against women has taken on a more public sense of urgency worldwide, when tales of gang rapes in India and Brazil circulated around the world. Earlier this year, more than 130 nations agreed on a UN blueprint to combat violence against women, "one of the gravest violations of human rights in the world", according to Michelle Bachelet, the head of the UN women's agency.

The head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Margaret Chen, too, called violence against women "a global health problem of epidemic proportions" when the first major global review of violence against women came out in June — a description that Criado-Perez drew on when writing in the New Statesman about the abuse directed against her. She urged Chen to "take a look at Twitter".

Shouting back

Already, Criado-Perez's experience has set off a campaign and petition to press Twitter to take more action to combat online threats.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper urged Twitter to carry out a full review of its policies on abusive threats and crimes, and a petition urging Twitter to introduce a "button" that would make it easier to report abusive Tweets has garnered 12 000 signatures.

On Sunday, British police arrested a 21-year-old man, who wasn't immediately identified, in relation to Criado-Perez's case.

She posted on Twitter that she was at a police station to make a statement and had many more threats to report — followed by the hashtag "shouting back".

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?