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Social Media Twitter continues to fail disabled victims of hate and abuse

Muscular Dystrophy UK says disabled users have no way of flagging up hate speech

TWITTER is still failing disabled victims of hate and abuse 10 months on from a promised review, campaigners warned yesterday.

Disabled users of the social media site still don’t have any way of flagging disability hate speech, said charity Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Abusive tweets based on someone’s race, religion, gender or orientation can be reported instantly using a dropdown menu in which disability is not given an option.

There is only a single mention that hateful comments about someone’s disability are unacceptable on Twitter’s 2,000-word rules, yet Twitter claims that this mention provides enough of a disincentive to abusive comments against people with disabilities.

However, the charity warns that the menu omission massively reduces the chance of disabled people taking action against the hateful language they may encounter.

Twitter agreed in April 2017 at a public meeting at London City Hall to look at how disabled people can report abusive comments, but there has been no visible change to the process since then, Muscular Dystrophy UK argues.

The charity’s 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.”

Disabled People Against Cuts activist Linda Burnip said: “The situation on Twitter reflects the attitude towards disabled abuse across society, where disability doesn’t seem to matter that much.”


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