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Monday, October 17, 2016

The deplorable treatment of women on Twitter

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Is it possible for the "alt right" to disagree with a woman on Twitter without becoming obscene and threatening rape and murder? Can they disagree with her without calling her an obscene four-letter word for female genitalia? Or are some of them so dim-witted that they cannot come up with a coherent argument?

On October 7, a "social justice warrior" on Twitter said something silly and ignorant about Hurricane Matthew: That the fatalities from the hurricane were the result of "environmental racism." It is appropriate to laugh at that Tweet, or to point out all the ways it is wrong. Threatening to rape or murder a woman because you disagree with her politics is sick and depraved. It is beyond deplorable. It is evil.

Here is the problem. There are so many times a "social justice warrior" will say something silly. We on the right should not simply allow these things to go unchallenged. Yes, laugh at them and point out they are indeed silly. But there are many people who take this stuff seriously, and are not just ranting. They have arguments and they are convincing people, so that needs to be refuted.

But when a reasonable refutation of politically correct SJW are lost in a sea of misogynistic hate speech and threats of violence the message is obliterated. In some cases, "alt right" trolls have stooped to "doxxing" women, exposing their home address, phone number and so forth along with rape and death threats. It is creepy and frightening.

It is really simple: Ridicule has always had a place in politics, alongside a reasoned refutation. Threatening to rape or murder someone (especially when combined with doxxing) must not be tolerated. Twitter needs to be much more aggressive in suspending and banning accounts that threaten violence against others. One does not have to strangle the "wild west" atmosphere of free speech on Twitter in order to stop this kind of nonsense. While other social networks (and online debate generally) have this problem, it is especially bad on Twitter and they need to get it under control.

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