Lawmakers: Social Media Platforms Must Take Action Against Online Misogyny

U.S. and international legislators recounted their personal experiences and demanded action during an IDDP forum on online hate against women.

GW Today
August 10, 2020

Social media platforms must do more to protect women from the online attacks that too often end their public service careers, lawmakers said Thursday at a virtual forum on online misogyny hosted by the George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics (IDDP).

“As women in politics, we take these slings and arrows as part of life, but what we probably haven’t spent any time reflecting on is how it permeates everything and how it deters a lot of women from engaging in the process,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), whose district houses the headquarters of both Facebook and YouTube.

The problem is compounded for women of color, who are targeted for their race as well as their gender, said Arisa Hatch, vice president of racial justice organization Color of Change. Studies suggest that women are 27 times more likely to be victims of online violence than men, and one study suggests that Black women are 84 percent more likely to receive abusive Tweets than white women in equivalent positions.

Read more