Here is some advice of what to do if you receive a death threat via Twitter...
Here is some advice of what to do if you receive a death threat via Twitter or email. I give this from the position of someone who received death threats on a monthly basis, of varying degrees and is as of yet, not actually dead. Unfortunately, any kind of online presence comes with it the possibility that someone will do something stupid. It can be for any reason, even the most innocuous. It can be for no reason at all. People act in ways online they never would in real life and way exactly that is is not yet fully understood. Here's what we haven't done however.
Do not publicize the threat. This is advice given by law enforcement agencies for a couple of reasons. There is no actual benefit to publicizing the threat. People online can't protect you if the threat is real, telling them serves no practical purpose. If the threat is real, then it is designed to terrify you, by posting the threat and acknowledging it publicly, you hand victory to the person who sent it. If it is merely a stupid troll, then once again you hand victory to them by giving them attention. The only reliable way to deal with unpleasant people online is to starve them of oxygen and the attention they crave.
The other reason not to publicize the threat is that it encourages copycat behavior. Other assholes feel emboldened by the actions of the one and may decide to go after you or others. That level of hostility is a virus that is easily spread. The tiny, tiny minority of psychos that send death threats are looking to create a culture of fear. You enable them when you spread their message. This becomes more true the more followers you have, you become their weapon through your online presence.
It may seem comforting to receive support from online peers by letting them know you have been attacked, but that support is fleeting and ultimately of no actual worth. After reporting the threats to the police and to the medium they were sent through (twitter, email provider etc) meet up with friends, hang around with real people that can make you feel safe. You may think that the solution to the isolation you feel is to tell the world, but really it's to spend time with people you trust and remember that there is a fairly huge difference between online death threats which are in the vast majority of circumstances, psycho trolls and someone who is actually out to kill you.
Lastly, do not and I really mean this, do not use something like this as an opportunity to demonize a group. You beget more evil by doing this. These actions are almost universally performed by lone online psychos. More often than not they are looking to provoke conflict of some sort, if they can get you and a group fighting over something that frankly neither of you had any part in to begin with, that's a great victory. The person who sent those threats to Ms Wu tonight is no doubt celebrating, they got more than they could have ever dreamed of out of their little stunt. Of course, in an ideal world that person is arrested, but we know how difficult it truly is to track someone like that down. Burner Twitter accounts are just that. For all we know, every death threat in the history of Twitter was sent by one guy.
I understand receiving death threats can be frightening and I don't blame anyone who acts out of emotion when it happens, but please understand that the people that send these are looking to do maximum damage to as many people as possible. Think very carefully before enabling their behavior.