Online abuse drives women out of public life

Online abuse is driving women out of public life. It’s time to act emphasises that female political candidates face online abuse in addition to the logical public scrutiny that those running for office normally encounter. The article notes that the report ‘indicates that female politicians are disproportionately the targets of intimidation, as well as those from ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT candidates’. Based on Intimidation in Public Life: A Review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the report makes recommendations to the UK Prime Minister on standards of conduct across public life and specifically addresses online content and social media. For example, it notes that further study is needed to analyse ‘the impact of online misogyny, both on those affected and the bystander effect‘. The article cites additional resources to substantiate its contention, including a Harvard, Facebook, and WIP study Social Media: Advancing Women in Politics? and Amnesty International’s Black and Asian women MPs abused more online.