UK Man Arrested After Threatening Feminist Campaigner with Rape on Twitter
After successfully leading a campaign for a woman's image to be used on a new banknote (Jane Austen will replace Charles Darwin on the £10 Bank of England note in 2017), UK feminist activist and co-founder of thewomensroom.org.uk and the Week Woman blog Caroline Criado-Perez has received a deluge of rape and death threats from Twitter users, mostly male, over the last five days.
Despite entreaties for Twitter to intervene, the threats, as well as the publishing of her home address and personal information, continued unbridled. Responses by and on behalf of Criado-Perez have included a popular hashtag campaign (#ShoutBack / #SHOUTINGBACK) aimed at calling out abusers, a nearly 50,ooo signature strong petition for Twitter to provide a one-click "report abuse" feature, and support from MPs and celebrities, including a public letter to Twitter from shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, yesterday.
Yet nothing much transpired until today, when a 21-year-old Manchester man was arrested "on suspicion of harassment offences," after Criado-Perez reported "malicious communications" of "about 50 abusive tweets an hour for about 12 hours" to local police.
A boycott of Twitter is planned for 4 August to draw attention to the issue.
Edit: rybpierce reports that Anita Sarkeesian of the video web series Feminist Frequency is experiencing a similar onslaught, with Twitter refusing to take action.
Edit: A little backstory on the banknote campaign: It's Boudicca v Bank of England in the battle of the banknotes (Guardian, 5 July 2013)
Edit: "The Bank [of England] regularly changes the design of its banknotes to address issues such as counterfeiting and quality." The Queen appears on the front, while a national "character," as the bank terms it, is featured on the back. When the Charles Darwin series naturally comes to its end, there existed the possibility that, excepting the Queen, no women would be represented on the banknote, hence the push for Austen and other women.
In a Guardian article by Belinda Webb (shared by Hermione Stranger), here are six feminist alternatives to Jane Austen. Boudicca was/is one popular choice. Here she is featured on a now rare Victorian banknote issued by the private Bolton Bank.