News People Feminist writer quits Twitter after rape threats

Feminist writer quits Twitter after rape threats

Jessica Valenti
This author is quitting social media after too many threats. Photo: Getty
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One of the world’s most prominent and popular feminist columnists and authors has quit social media after she “woke up to a rape and death threat” directed toward her young daughter.

Jessica Valenti, 37, who writes for The Guardian on feminist issues and is the author of Sex Object, on Thursday (AEST) announced via Twitter she would be leaving social media.

“I am sick of this shit. Sick of saying over and over how scary this is, sick of being told to suck it up,” she continued. “I should not have to fear for my kid’s safety because I write about feminism.

“In the meantime, I’m taking a break from social media. I don’t know how long. I just know that I can’t live like this. It’s too much.”

Ms Valenti did not disclose what the threats involved, other than what she had revealed on Twitter.

She also didn’t say whether the threats were linked to a specific column she had written. She has over 122,000 followers on Twitter.

‘Social media companies need to f***ing do something’

Ms Valenti took a swipe at the law and social media companies for their lack of action to make online communities safer spaces.

“Law enforcement needs to get their shit together on online threats. Social media companies need to f***ing do something,” she tweeted.

jessica valenti
Valenti has had enough of the abuse. Photo: Facebook

Ms Valenti’s decision comes after Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones quit Twitter last week following online abuse.

“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart,” Jones said. “All this cause I did a movie.You can hate the movie but the shit I got today … wrong.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addressed the controversy surrounding Jones during a phone call to investors on Tuesday.

“Freedom of expression means little if we allow voices to be silenced because of fear of harassment if they speak up,” he said in a blog post. “No one deserves to be the target of abuse online, and it has no place on Twitter.”

Some claimed Jones’ abuse was sparked by goading from Milo Yiannopoulos, technology editor with conservative news site Breitbart.

He was subsequently banned from Twitter for repeated right-wing insults and rants.

“No one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others,” a Twitter statement said. “We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behaviour on Twitter. We agree.”

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