We Stand By Caroline Criado-Perez


Last week, the Bank of England announced that Jane Austen would be the new face of the £10 note. This caused jubilation for many who saw it as a victory for women. It also caused a very sinister reaction, as hordes of misogynistic trolls crawled out of their dark caves and logged onto their Twitter accounts.

Within minutes, Caroline Criado-Perez, the amazing woman who successfully campaigned to put Austen on the bank note, had received rape and death threats. Some attackers even believed that they had found her address and contact details and began sharing the information online. All of this in under 140 characters.

Now facing her seventh day of threats and abuse, Criado-Perez and her supporters have called for Twitter to review its policies on abuse. In response, Mark Luckie, Twitter manager of Journalism and News, reportedly ignored Criado-Perez’s message and turned his Twitter to private. Currently, Twitter allows users to block other users from making any contact with them—the virtual equivalent of telling a victim of abuse to just avoid their abuser. Many see this as insufficient and a form of victim-blaming and have called for Twitter to install a “report abuse” button on all Tweets.

However, some worry that a report abuse button will be, for want of a better word, abused by users attempting to silence any views that do not correspond with their own. Yet many others believe that moderators of the button will be able to distinguish between statements of values and misogynistic, racial, sexual and other forms of attack.

Because of the publicity received by the Austen campaign, police and politicians have been forced to take notice of the abuse, and currently, two men, ages 21 and 25, have been arrested in connection with threats directed toward Criado-Perez and also toward Labour MP Stella Creasy, who came out in Criado-Perez’s support.

Attempting to silence women is the nature of online trolling and misogyny, but Criado-Perez and others have refused to quietly go away. We stand by her and so can you: Send her tweets of support using the hashtags #TakeBackTwitter and #shoutingback, or sign the Twitter button petition. Let’s keep fighting to take back social media for women worldwide.

Photo from Caroline Criado-Perez‘s Twitter feed


  1. While I’m a very big believer in the “block & move on” approach to life on the Internet, I do not work for an Internet company. It is absurd for a Twitter employee who is supposed to be the “manager of Journalism and News” to ignore a person who’s in the middle of one of the biggest news stories about Twitter in a while.

  2. I support Caroline Criado-Perez! I believe no one should ever be subjected to rape or death threats for their public positions, not even those whose position I disagree with! This is another frightening foreshadowing of a really vile backlash that’s just beginning to go mainstream. Scary!

  3. There’s a general malaise in UK society. People are very angry, very frustrated, very fed up and feel very hard done by. They take this out on anybody they see as a potential release for the stress. I noticed this pent up rage when i was in Britain a year ago. It was pretty darned scary!

    Apart from that, there’s the troll mentality whereby people feel they can get their nastiness out on others by hiding behind a computer. The problem is that with all the publicity that this case has generated, a lot of Lemmings have come out of the woodwork, doing very copycat things.

    Years ago, I suffered death threats and constant harassment from a thug and his buddies. What that was about was I’d been somewhere and had witnessed a man sexually interfere with a young lady. I of course could not do anything because the same man had slipped something into all our drinks. I could see but not prevent. It didn’t help that the guy scared the pants off me. Anyway, I reported that rape since the young lady was unwilling to. The police got involved and it ended up with the man agreeing to go for counseling rather than go on trial for rape. Anyway, his wife called her thug to harass me. That went on for quite a few months with no respite and the UK police just WERE NOT INTERESTED. All this despite my offering them a photo of the guy and his last known rental address.

    I sympathize totally with the plight of these ladies. Unfortunately until Britain grows the guts to stand up and fix the malaise in its own ranks, nothing worthwhile will be done to remedy the situation. At best they will pass ineffective and circumventable anti-trolling laws.

  4. Paul Clough says:

    What is the importance of having one of the Bronte sisters on a bank note?

    • Uh, that’s Jane AUSTEN, not Emily or Charlotte Bronte! Or are you just joking?

      • Frannie Zellman says:

        Since he doesn’t know the difference between Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, he probably cannot articulate the significance of Jane Austen’s being on a 10 pound note. (I would also bet that he hasn’t read any of them.)

  5. Peter Nunn says:

    You can stand by her, but report the full story. Twitter UK gave her power to suspend accounts, and she is abusing it. Her followers are fanatical and regularly harass others on Twitter, investigating people, then become judge and juror with no respect for Twitter rules. Caroline can get an account banned within 10 minutes. Myself and many others have been victims: http://youtu.be/JhySINYL5BI

    • Jane Gane says:

      I know nothing about the background to all this so am not in a position to comment one way or the other. But, having watched your video on YouTube, I would ask two things:

      If you want your grievance to be taken seriously, why would you resort to name-calling? Don’t you think reasonable people would be more willing to wonder if there was merit in your accusation if you presented it in a more grown up way?

      My second question is why are you wearing sunglasses? Are you hiding? If your comments are fair and valid, is there a need to hide? If there is something wrong with your eyesight, that’s different and I would apologise for my insensitivity.

  6. Robert Duncan says:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a good brain should not feel threatened by a woman demanding equality.

  7. Jane Gane says:

    I made a perfectly reasonable response to Peter Nunn’s post. It was under moderation for ages but I note has not been posted. Could you please explain why. Thank you.

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