Ashley Judd vows to press charges against Twitter trolls

Story highlights

  • Ashley Judd says she was attacked by Twitter trolls after a critical tweet about basketball
  • Judd, an actor and women's rights advocate, has vowed to press charges

Ashley Judd explains in a Mic.com essay (which contains explicit language) how painful abuse in her past influenced her decision to fight back against online sexual harassment.

(CNN)Ashley Judd is taking on Twitter trolls, who she says make social media an unsafe space with violent threats.

Her vow to fight online harassment came after she says she was attacked for expressing an unpopular opinion about a basketball game on Twitter.
Judd, a diehard Kentucky Wildcats fan who regularly attends March Madness games, told MSNBC that her tweet to the effect of "I think Arkansas is playing dirty" was met with vile language and sexually charged threats.
    Judd retweeted messages that are too explicit to include here.
    "Everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist," Judd said. "And by the way I'm pressing charges."
    The actor, who is also an advocate for women's rights, added: "The amount of gender violence that I experience is absolutely extraordinary, and a significant part of my day today will be spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that's directed at me on social media."
    Twitter, trolls and sports collided recently in another high-profile social media fight involving former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling.
    Schilling had congratulated his daughter on joining her new college's softball team in a tweet that was met with sexually menacing replies. He tracked down some of the men who sent inappropriate tweets, resulting in one reportedly being fired from his part-time job with the New York Yankees.
    Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has admitted the company has a less than stellar track record for cracking down on abusive tweets.
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    "We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years," Costolo wrote in a February memo.
    He told employees that he was embarrassed and took "personal responsibility" for the company's failure to address abuse.
    Costolo said he was committed to addressing the issue.
    This month the company updated its terms of service to directly combat so-called "revenge porn" that is posted to the site. Revenge porn is sexually explicit material posted online without the consent of one or more participants.
    Just today, the company debuted a new feature it says will make the process of reporting abusive tweets to law enforcement more seamless. The site will now email a report that can be shared with law enforcement after a user reports an abusive tweet.
    "While we take threats of violence seriously and will suspend responsible accounts when appropriate, we strongly recommend contacting your local law enforcement if you're concerned about your physical safety," Twitter says.