A Woman is Called a Slut Every Ten Seconds on Twitter, According to New Study

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Research continues to find that women face more bullying, abuse, hateful language and threats than men online—surprising absolutely no one.

This newest study, conducted by the think tank Demos as part of a British anti-internet harassment campaign, found that Twitter users in the U.K.—both men and women—made 200,000 aggressive tweets containing the words “slut” and “whore” during a 3-week period.

For those you who don’t want to do the math, that works out to 6.6 abusive tweets a minute (or 9,500 a day).

Internationally, over 200,000 aggressive tweets were sent to 80,000 people in the same three weeks. Those targeted range from public figures, like Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé, to everyday, non-famous women.

This particular study was built upon previous research from Demos in 2014, which found that the words “slut,” “whore,” and “rape” dominate online misogynistic threats. Using that information, researchers developed an algorithm that is able to differentiate between non-hostile uses of the words—such as “slut walk” and “slut shaming”—from threats and insults in order to find these numbers.

“It is clear that just as the digital world has created new opportunities for public debate and social interaction, it has also built new battlegrounds for the worst aspects of human behaviour,” said Alex Krasodomski-Jones, a researcher at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos in the study’s press release. “This study provides a birds-eye snapshot of what is ultimately a very personal and often traumatic experience for women.

“While we have focused on Twitter, who are considerably more generous in sharing their data with researchers like us, it’s important to note that misogyny is prevalent across all social media, and we must make sure that the other big tech companies are also involved in discussions around education and developing solutions. This is less about policing the internet than it is a stark reminder that we are frequently not as good citizens online as we are offline.”

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