Friday, December 6, 2019
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Twitter failing to protect disabled users from ‘hate-filled’ abuse

Social networks like Twitter are failing to provide disabled users  with adequately protection against “hate-filled language” and abuse, a leading UK charity has warned.

While social media users can report instances of hate and abuse relating to race, religion, gender or orientation, Twitter does not yet provide disabled users with an option to instantly flag disability hate speech and abuse in its drop-down reporting menu.

Twitter claims that a single warning contained within its terms of use provides sufficient deterrent against abusive tweets aimed at disabled people.

However, Muscular Dystrophy UK argues that not including disability hate in the same drop-down menu is likely to dissuade disabled people from reporting abusive or offensive tweets.

The social media giant promised in April 2017 to look at new ways disabled users can report hate and abuse, but Muscular Dystrophy UK argues there is little or no sign of improvement.

Campaigns Manager Lauren West said: “Platforms like Twitter and Facebook should be a valuable tool for disabled people to take part in everyday conversations, but hate-filled language keeps many away.

“It has become so common that it barely raises an eyebrow and this situation has to change.

“Platforms like Twitter have to give us the tools we need to protect ourselves from hate speech and adding disability to its ‘report Tweet’ function is an easy starting point.”

Disability rights activist Linda Burnip, co-founded of the campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts, told the Morning Star: “The situation on Twitter reflects the attitude towards disabled abuse across society, where disability doesn’t seem to matter that much.”

Have you been a victim of disability hate speech and abuse on social media? Please leave your comments below.

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