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Prominent Women Call for Tech Giants to Act Against Online Harassment

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Diane Abbott, the first Black woman to elected to Britains Parliament, was one of the signatories.

Research by Amnesty International in 2018 found that Black women were 84% more likely than white women to be targeted by abusive tweets.

Credit: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

More than 200 prominent women from around the world, including actors, journalists, musicians and former government leaders, have written an open letter urging the chief executives of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Google to "prioritize the safety of women" on their platforms.

The letter was published Thursday by the World Wide Web Foundation and coincided with a pledge from the four tech giants to improve the safety of their online platforms. The companies' vow and the letter, which seeks to hold them accountable to their promises, came on the second day of the U.N. Generation Equality Forum in Paris, which is focusing on gender equality.

The letter's signers included Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela's widow; Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia; the tennis champion Billie Jean King; and the actors Thandiwe Newton, Ashley Judd and Emma Watson.

"The internet is the town square of the 21st century," the letter said. "It is where debate takes place, communities are built, products are sold and reputations are made. But the scale of online abuse means that, for too many women, these digital town squares are unsafe. This is a threat to progress on gender equality."

From The New York Times
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