Mere hours after Twitter’s UK honcho Tony Wang apologized personally for the death and rape threats scores of women have received in apparent response to their activism, British classicist and occasional TV presenter Mary Beard received a bomb threat on Twitter, because the world can often be one big, festering pile of awful hurtling through the great cosmic nothingness of space.
Hmm, that’s a little grim, but still — the threat against Beard was the latest unpleasantness in a series of threats fielded by female academics and journalists over the last two weeks. According to the BBC, Beard, who has faced abuse on Twitter before, reported the latest threat to the police. This threat used similar wording to tweet sent earlier to a number of prominent female activists and journalists, some of whom also received rape threats. Beard further explained that she, tough and intelligent though she may be, found the threat pretty unnerving and reported it to keep this sort of unprecedented display of social media abuse from continuing:
I think it is scary and it has got to stop.
To be honest I didn't actually intellectually feel I was in danger but I thought I was being harassed and I thought I was being harassed in a particularly unpleasant way.
Seriously, Internet trolls — chill the fuck out and go read a book or something. I hear they’re quite diverting.
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