Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of harassment after Twitter
abuse was aimed at feminist campaigner Caroline Criado Perez and Walthamstow MP
Stella Creasy. Both women have complained about being sent vicious tweets on the
site in the past week. A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night that
Northumbria Police had arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of harassment.
Ms Criado Perez, 29, has said Twitter needs to get a grip on security, as it emerged bosses were likely to face a grilling from MPs.
She said the social network was ill-equipped to handle episodes of sustained abuse and needed to work more closely with police to deal with internet trolls.
Ms Criado Perez met Twitter directors on Monday along with Ms Creasy, who received a similar torrent of abusive messages after she offered support to the freelance journalist.
Twitter bosses look set to face questions from MPs when the Culture, Media and Sport Committee examines issues surrounding child protection in the autumn. Committee chair John Whittingdale said: I would have thought it very possible that the committee might want, in the course of our inquiry, to talk to Twitter. He added: It isn't that the law needs to be changed; the question is how you identify people and how you prevent them from abusing others online.
Ms Criado Perez, from London, found herself at the centre of a public row after she campaigned to have a woman's picture on a new banknote. This led to the announcement that Jane Austen would feature on the new Pounds 10 note from 2017 but also drew her a litany of depraved messages from social networkers. Ms Creasy was sent similarly vicious tweets when she spoke out in support of the campaigner.
Ms Criado Perez said the online attack left her feeling under siege.
Officers have also questioned and bailed a 21-year-old man in connection with the messages sent to Ms Criado Perez. Twitter said it was in contact with the police over the abusive tirades.
The uproar has also prompted Wiltshire Tory MP Claire Perry - who has advised the Prime Minister on tackling extreme pornography and child abuse online - to reveal the extent of the abuse she too has received on Twitter.
The Devizes MP wrote: I am tempted to shut down my Twitter account given the trolling going on incl. to me - but that would be giving in.
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