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Twitter faces calls in Britain to get tough on online abuse

An illustration picture shows the logo of the Website Twitter on an Ipad, in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Regis
An illustration picture shows the logo of the Website Twitter on an Ipad, in Bordeaux, Southwestern France, January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Regis

LONDON (Reuters) - Twitter, the social media site, is under pressure in Britain to make it easier for Internet users to report abuse after more than 30,000 people petitioned it over the case of a feminist campaigner who says she was repeatedly threatened with rape.

Caroline Criado-Perez helped lobby the Bank of England to make a woman, 19th century novelist Jane Austen, the new face on the country's 10 pound note, to defuse criticism that women were under-represented on the currency.

She was then "targeted repeatedly with rape threats" by ill-wishers objecting to her activity, according to an online petition, which called on Twitter to urgently add a 'report abuse' button to its service.

Some users proposed a one-day boycott of Twitter to protest against what they said was its failure to address the issue.

Twitter's General Manager for the UK Tony Wang promised to suspend all accounts found to be in breach of its rules.

"We take online abuse seriously," he wrote, saying the company was testing ways to simplify reporting of abuse.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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