British MP receives image of knife-wielding masked man and other threats on Twitter

Stella Creasy, a British member of Parliament, has received a number of threats on the social networking site Twitter, the latest of which is a picture of a masked man wielding a knife and the text “I’m gonna be the first thing u seen when u wake up”.

This latest threat comes days after Creasy and other women who are in the public eye have denounced and unmasked the culture of sexist abuse and threats against women that’s thriving online.

Twitter is at the heart of this debate right now, with many women such as Creasy, journalists India Knight and Laurie Penny and even historian Mary Beard having received death threats, bomb scares and other forms of abuse. The social network has very recently clarified its stance on such abuse saying that it’s “simply not acceptable”, expanding its staff that deals with reported users and tweets and banning the users that have sent such threats.

The women in question have all reported threats to the police and Scotland Yard is working with Twitter to punish those implicated as threatening somebody is a punishable offense by law.

While trolling, horrible grammar and baffling stupidity have unfortunately become commonplace on the internet, life threats are a serious offense and both Twitter and the police urge everyone to report such incidents as soon as they are noticed.

Source and Image: The Guardian

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It is the classic BS/FUD that will lead to more censorship.

Right now, a twitter message, in the real world, it weights nothing!. It is not a contract or even a formal announcement but more close to a small or casual talk.

In this case, she is a flame-bait, she is saying "stop the online abuse!... and btw, it is my twitter account". :-/

You're saying that if I, during casual conversation, pointed a knife at you and told you "I'm gonna be the first thing you seen when you wake up", you'd be okay with it?

A death threat has to be treated as a death threat.

What I just don't understand is - WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE. The idiots on Twitter that do this kind of thing. Or that tweet abuse to celebrities. Really - what sorts of lives do these people have, that targeting people for abuse is something they do in their spare time. Are their lives really that devoid of fulfilment, that this is how they choose to spend their time?!

"While trolling, horrible grammar and baffling stupidity have unfortunately become commonplace on the Internet, life threats are a serious offense"

I want to see more people get arrested for all four... at least some kind of fine or citation along with limited bans

Gaz Matik said,
"While trolling, horrible grammar and baffling stupidity have unfortunately become commonplace on the Internet, life threats are a serious offense"

I want to see more people get arrested for all four... at least some kind of fine or citation along with limited bans

Totally agreed.

Lord Method Man said,
Social Media has set society back 80 years.

Social media prevents women from voting and deprives black men and women of their freedom ?

I don't like how one sided it is, men get threats too, surely we should be campaigning to end abuse aimed at anyone not just women.

exotoxic said,
I don't like how one sided it is, men get threats too, surely we should be campaigning to end abuse aimed at anyone not just women.

Do you honestly think that equivalent numbers of men receive threats from women? How many women threaten to rape men in order to silence them? Get over yourself.

"While trolling, horrible grammar and baffling stupidity have unfortunately become commonplace on the Internet, life threats are a serious offense"

I want to see more people get arrested for all four... at least some kind of fine or citation along with limited bans

jakem1 said,

Do you honestly think that equivalent numbers of men receive threats from women? How many women threaten to rape men in order to silence them? Get over yourself.

Men threatening men.

This annoys me, a football manager who has been the target of sectarian abuse for over a decade was the target of a campaign over twitter, facebook and forums. Not only did he have thousands of threats daily including in depth talks on forums what they would do with him and how they could get him. He actually had a nail bomb and a bullet with his name on it sent to his address but they were both intercepted at the post office.

As a result of that a new bill was passed through the Scottish Parliament within a year to make it easier to arrest people who post death threats online. As far as I know quite a few people have been arrested and charged (including the three people who sent the bullets/bomb). He was also assaulted at a match in the same period, a man got past security and tried to punch him in the face. He has also been assaulted twice, one in 2003 and another time in 2008.

This is very tame in comparison, I'm surprised this case hasn't been mentioned since it did get the Threatening Communications bill passed in the Scottish parliament. You know, a bill about the internet to help the people and not just corporates.

Edited by Gaffney, Aug 6 2013, 5:08pm :

People are bored out of their minds, this gives crazy idiots to much time on their hands to keep them occupied with this kinda junk which annoys them, the internet helps them easily find people with the same mindset and boredom. This boost their opinion and ego's. Which can make these kind of threats very serious even if they like asinine to you/

These are not always crazy attention whoring individuals. These are still often the same batsh*t crazy people that used to send death threats by mail, or placing things like burning crosses in people's front yards.

willgill said,
Too bad she's not in America. Then you just get a dog and .45 and sleep well.

I know, right? You're completely safe when you own a gun, no gun owner has been murdered, ever. Oh wait, they are, frequently.

willgill said,
Too bad she's not in America. Then you just get a dog and .45 and sleep well.

Because American politicians never get shot at.

I love this......in a weird way

You see, computers only really got popular around ten years ago. The younger generation has grown up with them, and spent a lot of time socializing online.

Neowin is another example of forum members constantly nitpicking and bickering with each other, yet in the real world will be totally different.

Most of these twitter threats come from people who sit in their bedrooms just bored to tears. The sad thing is, the main reason is for the attention they crave.

Get over yourself!

We have friends with the same age children as we have (2 and 4) yet they do nothing other than watch TV, or play on the ipad/iphone. Seriously, a 4 year old can work an ipad (and even put in the 4 digit pin code).

Ours go outside to play and have days out swimming

Guess I'm just old fashioned I guess

glen8 said,
I love this......in a weird way

You see, computers only really got popular around ten years ago. The younger generation has grown up with them, and spent a lot of time socializing online.

Neowin is another example of forum members constantly nitpicking and bickering with each other, yet in the real world will be totally different.

Most of these twitter threats come from people who sit in their bedrooms just bored to tears. The sad thing is, the main reason is for the attention they crave.

Get over yourself!

We have friends with the same age children as we have (2 and 4) yet they do nothing other than watch TV, or play on the ipad/iphone. Seriously, a 4 year old can work an ipad (and even put in the 4 digit pin code).

Ours go outside to play and have days out swimming

Guess I'm just old fashioned I guess

It all comes down to the parents, a young child will be entertained by many sparkles, nothing wrong with young kids using cool tech, but a lot of parents use as an escape and turn lazy when it comes to their kids because of it.

Good you you for being proactive with your kids

If and when I have kids, I'm taking them everywhere to enjoy nature and the world.

There gave been a number of women on banknotes before (excluding the one whose mugshot is on all of them.)

Are you sure these two events are related?

Seems like they're a bit late to the party if that's the case.

Hard to believe that this all started over a banknote. Caroline Criado-Perez campaigned to get a woman (that isn't the queen) on an English banknote, she succeeded (Jane Austen will be on the £10 note from 2017), and then came the rape threats. When other prolific women publicly defended her, the abuse spread to them too, including Stella Creasy above.

The sooner moronic abusers like them are eradicated from this world, the better.

For clarity, Jane Austen isn't the first woman on an English Banknote. Previously Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry have been on the £10 and £5 notes respectively.