I manage our like Black Lives Matters Twitter page. I usually see a ton a ton of violence come in there on a daily basis and just awful things that people say to black organisers. There are folks who have like dedicated accounts that troll other people. That’s just how they spend their time. I think that’s why I’m like ‘oh [the abuse] it’s sort of normalised’. There are people who dedicate their existence to sending messages to fuck with my mental health and black organisers’ mental health to tear us down.
There are people who always focus on ‘you’re an immigrant, and you’re queer, and you’re trans, and you’re Muslim, or you’re disabled’. They know that we hold these identities and they are actively trying to destroy folks. [Abuse online] is not just a ‘thing’ that’s happening, it’s a tactic, it’s a strategy that they’re using to stop us from building [power]. It’s just the nature of Twitter – the way that it allows hateful folks to just fester [on the platform] to the point where it’s like, “oh, this is what it is”.
Twitter needs to hone in on their responsibilities and their values. I’m tired of tech companies or social media companies thinking they are exempt from living their values. If Twitter values women and femmes, if they value our safety, then they need to have practices that they actually develop and implement in real ways that will protect us.
Twitter is going to have to say whether they’re for the people or they’re not. They’ve got to actually take a stance and show us who they are. If they don’t take this stance, then they are showing us exactly who they are. Twitter has the power to change the way women and femmes are experiencing abuse, or even if we experience abuse, on their platform. After all, they are the convenors of the space and they have the power to change our experiences.