Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has been the target of harassment from Twitter users for some time now and activists are becoming fed up with the social media platform’s lack of response.
Highlighted by The Huffington Post, a study from Bot Sentinel, a platform that fights disinformation, determined that a small number of Twitter accounts create the majority of hateful messages aimed at Markle. After analyzing more than 100,000 tweets, Bot Sentinel found that a group of 73 accounts are responsible for nearly 70% of the hateful messages aimed at Markle. The platform adds that this content had the potential to reach nearly 17 million users.
“Our research found that a relatively small number of single-purpose anti-Meghan and Harry accounts created and disseminated most of the hateful content on Twitter,” the report stated, according to The Huffington Post.
“We observed the primary accounts coordinating their activities and using various techniques to avoid detection. In short, the majority of the anti-Meghan and Harry activity wasn’t organic.”
Just a few weeks after the report was presented, activists say that Twitter has not taken adequate action to address the matter. Color of Change President Rashad Robinson told The Huffington Post that this report was “not just some sort of freak occurrence.” He also noted that these reports are exactly “what we’ve been trying to tell these platforms.”
“These challenges are not an accident,” Robinson told The Huffington Post.
“And time and time again, when [companies] are presented with facts like this, they have failed to act.”
Twitter replied to Robinson’s comments and Bot Sentinel by telling The Huffington Post there is no evidence of “widespread coordination, the use of multiple accounts by single people, or other platform manipulation tactics.”
“Our teams have reviewed the accounts referenced in this report and have taken enforcement action, when appropriate, against accounts and content that violates the Twitter Rules. Of the 80+ accounts referenced in the report, our teams took action on seven accounts — these included violations of our abusive behavior policy and our platform manipulation and spam policy,” a spokesperson for Twitter added.
Robinson has offered an argument to the contradictory. He claims that social media companies “have been unwilling to be both transparent and clear about sort of all the ways in which their incentive structures are harming our communities.”
“We just have a hard time believing them because it’s like, don’t p— on my head and tell me that it’s raining,” Robinson told The Huffington Post.
“We can over and over again see these challenges, we see these platforms unable to fix it, but they become very quick to sort of problematize research, problematize analysis and problematize solutions, when in so many ways they’re unwilling to offer so little of their own.”