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Twitter too slow to act on online abuse: Labour MP

Twitter must do more to stamp out racist and misogynistic abuse on its site by taking down offensive posts within 24 hours, a senior Labour MP has said.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the influential Home Select Affairs Committee, said the social media giant was "too slow to act" on removing abusive tweets that violate its own guidelines and urged it to do more to stop hate speech.

In a letter to Twitter, co-written with the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, Ms Cooper highlighted examples of abuse targeted at prominent women such as shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.

It comes as new Crown Prosecution Service guidelines said hate crime committed in cyberspace should be taken as seriously as offences carried out face to face.

Ms Cooper, who set up the cross-party Reclaim The Internet campaign to challenge online abuse, said: "Twitter claims to stop hate speech, but they just don't do it in practice. Vile racist, misogynist and threatening abuse gets reported to them, but they are too slow to act so they just keep giving a platform to hatred and extremism.

"It's disgraceful and irresponsible. Twitter need to get their act together."

She called for Twitter to outline its plans to tackle abuse more quickly as research by the campaign found abusive posts remained online for days after being reported.

Ed Ho, general manager of Twitter's consumer product group, said: "While there is still much work to be done, people are experiencing significantly less abuse on Twitter today than they were six months ago."

Belfast Telegraph