Twitter Bot Trolls Organizations For Hypocrisy On International Women's Day - Social Media Explorer
Twitter Bot Trolls Organizations For Hypocrisy On International Women’s Day
Twitter Bot Trolls Organizations For Hypocrisy On International Women’s Day

A bot on Twitter has caused havoc in the reputation of hundreds of British institutions by raising hypocrisy around gender pay gaps.

Yesterday, companies took to Twitter in unison to support International Women’s Day. Gender Pay GapBot retweeted these – adding each figure to the gender pay gap for average hourly earnings.

Francesca Lawson (copywriter) and Ali Fensome (software developer), created the bot. The strapline for it was “Deeds, not words”. Stop posting platitudes. Stop pleading platitudes.

They are made available by 2017 legislation, which requires that organisations with over 250 employees publish the figures annually.

Sometimes the gap is so great that it’s almost shocking. Innovate UK is the government’s innovative agency. Ryanair has a 68% pay gap. Ryanair’s low-cost airline Ryanair only offers a 36%. Missguided is a women’s clothing retailer, while Young’s Pubs has an astounding 73.2 percent.

Shameful acts have been committed by many organizations in the public sector. Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust had a 19.5 Percent gender pay gap, 14.4 per Cent for Humberside Policing, and 8.8 percent for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Tweets by many companies contain inappropriate content. Some feature images only of men and others show women in stereotype roles. London Dungeon used the day for some strange reason to suggest Jack the Ripper could have been a girl and highlight female killers.

After seeing the bot’s tweets, panic set in for many organisations. Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust was one of those that blocked responses. Other organizations, such as Innovate UK and Aston University, Hitachi Solutions Europe. St Peter’s School, York, HMRC, also deleted the tweets. Some of them were reposted later using different hashtags. Gender Pay Bot retweeted the tweets again.

Some individuals do quite well with the retweets. For example, at broadband provider Hyperoptic women get paid 55.7 percent more than their male counterparts, while the Vagina museum’s gender pay gap isn’t reported because all of its staff are female.

There are many countries that require reporting on gender pay gaps. Ireland announced plans to implement a scheme similar to the UK’s yesterday. The reporting threshold is lower in some countries. For example, Sweden requires that companies have fewer than 10 employees report.

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Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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