Latest News & Current Events

UK Bomb threats target female leaders

High-profile women in the UK who tweet have been getting bomb threats. Politicians, journalists, and others have all been subject to the very personal attacks. Twitter has hired extra staff to delete the violent tweets, and Scotland Yard has gotten involved. Twitter's UK general manager, Tony Wang, posted a series of tweets yesterday saying abuse was "simply not acceptable.”

The journalists India Knight and Laurie Penny became the latest users to receive bomb threats after similar tweets were also sent to campaigner and writer Caroline Criado-Perez, and the Labour MP Stella Creasy.

Historian Mary Beard, was the latest recipient. She contacted police on Sunday after receiving a message claiming a bomb had been left outside her home,.  Beard told BBC Breakfast TV that she has since received further threats on Twitter claiming that the originals were "just a practice run".

Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, Independent columnist Grace Dent and Europe editor of Time magazine Catherine Mayer, as well as a number of other women, have previously said they had been the subject of bomb threats on the site, while a number have received threats of rape.

Scotland Yard said that it has launched an investigation into eight allegations of online abuse and threats. "Detectives from the specialist organised & economic crime command have taken responsibility for the investigations into a number of allegations recently made to the MPS relating to allegations of malicious communication made on the social networking site Twitter," the Met said in a statement.

"The police central e-crime unit (PCeU), who hold the police national cybercrime remit, is now investigating allegations made by eight people that they have been subject to harassment, malicious communication or bomb threats."

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