Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the biggest troll of them all? According to a UK study, not only are women just as abusive as men on social media, they're misogynistic, too.
After analyzing 10K tweets over a period of three weeks, researchers found that women were responsible for half of all slurs hurled behind screens. A special algorithm specifically honed in on the words "slut" and "whore" used in "an explicitly aggressive way."
So while women tend to be subjected to more online abuse, the assumption would naturally be that such trolling is perpetrated by men. Not so.
Often, women target other women, and they're doing so using the very language that demeans and degrades women.
I'd go one further and surmise that most body- and slut-shaming that happens online happens at the hands of other women. Right, Amy Schumer?
All it took was a photo of Schumer in a black bathing suit to bring out the ugly in total strangers.
I meant to write "good morning trolls!" I hope you find some joy in your lives today in a human interaction and not just in writing unkind things to a stranger you've never met who triggers something in you that makes you feel powerless and alone. This is how I look. I feel happy. I think I look strong and healthy and also like miss trunchbull from Matilda. Kisses!
Her response was on point. But the fact remains, social media is still the easiest place for women to go dark and bitchy without recourse. The same women who are no doubt sweetie pies during the day are free to lash out at other women online.
Some news sites now insist that all profiles are created using a person's actual data (real name, email, phone number), adding an element of accountability.
Lifting the veil from trolls may be the only way to expose them and make them thing twice about spewing hate so freely. One hopes so.