Tell Twitter: Domestic Violence Is Not A Joke
- by: Care2.com
- recipient: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo
This weekend, the hashtag "#reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend" became the world's number one "trending topic" on Twitter. Thousands of users submitted reasons why domestic violence would be acceptable, including "dinner's not ready" and "she distracts you from watching television."
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 1.3 million American women are victims of domestic violence and about one third of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner every year. By casting abuse in a humorous light, the Twitter users responsible for the trending topic are belittling the tragic realities that victims and survivors of domestic abuse face on a daily basis.
If Twitter can ban hashtags with offensive curse words, there should be no reason it cannot ban ones that incite violence against women.
Ask Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to ban abusive trending topics, including #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend, from ever appearing on Twitter's homepage.
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This weekend, the hashtag "#reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend" was the number one "trending topic" on Twitter. I am writing to urge you to both ban this specific hashtag and to screen more thoroughly for offensive material in trending topics in the future.
Although you claim to not "censor" trending topics, the forcible removal of such hashtags as "#bieber" from your Top 10 list shows that you have some hand in Twitter's algorithm. Moreover, your recent admission that you can censor tweets for obscenities should, by all rights, extend to such graphic material as domestic violence.
One in every four American women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. By not removing this topic, you and your company are implicitly condoning the domestic violence from which millions of women regularly suffer.
Please ban the hashtag "reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend" and take steps to ensure that similar topics do not appear in the "trending topics" sidebar in the future.