Women journalists in UK on Twitter death threat list
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 01, 2013, 21:11
  
London: Several women in the UK, including three prominent journalists, have received bomb threats on micro-blogging site Twitter, prompting the Scotland Yard to launch a probe.

"We can confirm that the Metropolitan police have received allegations relating to bomb threats sent to a number of females on Twitter," a Metropolitan police spokesperson said here on Thursday.

There have been no arrests and no bombs actually went off, the spokesman said.

Columnists Hadley Freeman at 'The Guardian', Grace Dent at 'The Independent' and Catharine Mayer, Europe editor of 'Time' magazine, were among those who received the Twitter threats from anonymous user @98JU98U989 yesterday.

Freeman had written a column a day earlier headlined 'How to use the internet without being a total loser', responding to a series of violent messages on the social network aimed at women.

The anonymous account has been suspended by Twitter last night, however, a screen grab was posted on the site by one of the journalists.

The threat read: "A BOMB HAS BEEN PLACED OUTSIDE YOUR HOME. IT WILL GO OFF AT EXACTLY 10.47PM ON A TIMER AND TRIGGER DESTROYING EVERYTHING".

After receiving the threat, Hadley Freeman wrote on Twitter that she was calling the police, adding: "If it's illegal to threaten to bomb an airport, it's illegal to threaten to bomb me".

Grace Dent described the threat as a "new low".

The latest incident comes just days after rape threats to Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and women's campaigner Caroline Criado Perez on Twitter successfully lobbying for famous British author Jane Austen to appear on British banknotes.

Television historian Professor Mary Beard was also targeted by a Twitter user, who she named and shamed.

He apologised after Beard threatened to send a copy of his comments to his mother.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Twitter to beef up its procedures for dealing with abuse.

The social media site has announced plans to include a button for reporting abuse within every tweet -- something which is already available on its iPhone app.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, August 01, 2013, 21:11


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