Facebook criticised over online harassment project

Major technology companies plan a grassroots campaign against harassment but are accused of not doing enough

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are consulting with women's groups around the world in a bid to organise a "fight back" against online harassment.

It is understood that the plans involve fostering a "counter-speech" movement, which would challenge misogyny, racism and threats of violence. This movement would be facilitated by the tech companies involved, but not led by them.

t

he Guardian 

Sarah Green, of the End Violence against Women Coalition, told the Guardian that although any changes by technology companies were welcome, it "can't [be] the whole answer we wouldn't say that harassment and assault of women in the street should simply be dealt with by victims fighting back".

Research conducted by Symantec in Australia this year highlighted the scale of the problem, particularly concerning women.

The study found that 76 per cent of women under 30 had experienced online harassment, making it the norm rather than the exception for this group.

One in four young women had been threatened with physical violence and an astonishing nine per cent had sought professional help with depression or anxiety owing to being harassed online.

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