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Yvette Cooper: Twitter too slow to act on 'vile racist, misogynist and threatening abuse'

2 min read

A senior Labour MP has accused Twitter of failing to act quickly enough on "vile" racist and sexist abuse by users of the website.

Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Home Affairs Committee, described the slow response to complaints as “disgraceful and irresponsible”.

She set out her concerns about the social media giant in a letter co-signed by Fawcett Society chief executive Sam Smethers.

Labour MPs – especially female Labour MPs – have been among those targeted by racist and sexist abuse on the website.

Ms Cooper said: “Vile racist, misogynist and threatening abuse gets reported to them, but they are too slow to act so they just keep giving a platform to hatred and extremism.

“It's disgraceful and irresponsible. Twitter need to get their act together.

“Abusive content needs to be removed far more quickly and the company should be doing more to respond immediately to complaints and to proactively identify content that contravenes their community standards.

“Twitter claims to stop hate speech, but they just don't do it in practice.”

The MP also asked for information on how the company removes sexually explicit pictures and messages, complaining that they are kept online for too long after concerns are flagged.

Twitter said there was “no place” for abuse and harassment on its platform.  

"We've introduced a range of new tools and features to improve our platform for everyone, and we're now taking action on 10 times the number of abusive accounts every day than the same time in 2016,” a spokesman added.

"We will continue to build on these efforts and meet the challenge head-on."

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