Social media is increasingly becoming a war zone. But the enemy is often faceless, cloaked in anonymity. One woman received death and rape threats, prompting Twitter to devise a button to report online abuse for individual tweets.
According to an article in the Belfast Telegraph, when feminist Caroline Criado Perez campaigned to put a woman's face on a new bank note, she hadn't expected the hate-filled Pandora's box to blow up on her. This athlete's triumph was recently marred by a shocking online assault.
Police are now involved, and Twitter has been urged to up its security. A 21-year-old man was recently arrested in Manchester, England, in connection with suspected harassment.
But to many, the site didn't take action quickly enough to protect Perez. A petition urging the free social media site to rethink its policies gained more than 12,500 signatures. Others plan to stage a Twitter boycott on 4 August.
Though the report abuse button already exists for individual tweets via Twitter's latest iPhone app, the company has yet to extend the option to other platforms.
"We don't comment on individual accounts," said a spokesperson for the media giant. "However, we have rules which people agree to abide by when they sign up to Twitter. We will suspend accounts that, once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules. We encourage users to report an account for violation of the Twitter rules by using one of our report forms."
For the likes of Perez, while such abuse isn't unusual, the level of intensity and aggression involved was.
"It's infuriating that the price you pay for standing up for women is 24 hours of rape threats," said Perez, the freelance journalist who petitioned the Bank of England to put author Jane Austen on the new £10 in 2017.
Been at the receiving end of any abusive tweets? Are social media sites doing enough to protect users?