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  • 23 January, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Amnesty International study

Syllabus subtopic:

  • Important International Institutions, agencies and fora - their Structure, Mandate.
  • Role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

Prelims and Mains focus: about the report and its findings; about Amnesty and its objectives

News: Amnesty International India study of thousands of tweets found that women politicians are trolled more on social media.

How was the study conducted?

  • The data set involved 1,14,716 random samples of 7 million total tweets mentioning 95 Indian women politicians between March and May 2019. Based on nomination papers, the sample of women were MPs in the two most recent Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections, MLAs as of February 2019, party office-bearers and spokeswomen, current and former chief ministers, and members from reserved constituencies.

  • The categories of online abuse include threats of physical or sexual violence, caste or religious slurs, and sexist discrimination. The Decoders read tweets in English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

  • Between July and November 2019, the organisation crowd sourced 1,907 digital volunteers, who were given a random set of tweets. The decoder marked tweets as “abusive” or “problematic” as well as the nature of abuse. Each tweet was marked by multiple people, amounting to 4,74,383 total answers.

  • The data was then submitted to a team of data scientists “to validate and analyse”. Amnesty said it conducted this analysis in the US and the UK in 2018 to build the world’s “largest crowd-sourced dataset of online abuse against women”.

Key findings of the study

  • Over the Lok Sabha election period last summer, one in every seven tweets mentioning women politicians in India were “problematic” or “abusive”, amounting to over 100 such tweets to each woman politician every day.

  • Non-BJP women politicians faced 56.7 per cent more online abuse than women politicians from the BJP, according to the study.

  • As part of a global quantitative analysis on women contesting elections, the study also found that Indian women politicians faced far more online abuse (13.8 per cent of tweets) than their counterparts in the UK or the US on Twitter (7.1 per cent).

  • Muslim women received almost 55.5 per cent more problematic or abusive content than women from other religions.

  • Examples of sexist abuses from India included Hindi slurs for ‘witch’ and ‘prostitute’ as well as threats to send the politician concerned to Pakistan.

What did the report recommend?

Given the significance of Twitter among the political elite, the report suggests, “Twitter is failing in its responsibility to respect women’s rights online.” It recommends more focus on regional languages in India, continuously evaluating its efforts against online violence against women, and more transparency about its content moderation process.

About Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI)

  • It is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with its headquarters in the United Kingdom focused on human rights.

  • The stated mission of the organization is to campaign for “a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.”

  • It works to mobilize public opinion to generate pressure on governments that let abuse take place. Amnesty considers capital punishment to be "the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights.

  • The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its “defence of human dignity against torture,” and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

  • In the field of international human rights organizations, Amnesty has the third longest history, after the International Federation for Human Rights and broadest name recognition, and is believed by many to set standards for the movement as a whole.

Source: Indian Express

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