Twitter’s temporary suspension of McGowan, a fierce critic of Harvey Weinstein, was the trigger; not everyone is behind #WomenBoycottTwitter
They don’t need 140 characters for this.
24 hours after actress and women’s rights advocate Rose McGowan was temporarily suspended on Twitter, many other females have decided to show their solidarity by pledging to boycott the microblogging service on Friday. McGowan had her account blocked for tweeting a personal phone number, a move that took place while she was criticizing powerful Hollywood men—among them actor Ben Affleck—for their alleged complicity and enabling of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, who reportedly sexually harassed numerous young women throughout his long career, was sacked from his eponymous company after a bombshell New York Times report.
McGowan’s Twitter access has been restored after she removed the offending tweet. Still, celebrities like Alyssa Milano, Chrissy Teigen and Anna Paquin, as well as New York City first lady Chirlane McCray, have said they’ll avoid the service for 24 hours today. It also appears that many other women—and some men—have decided to join in. The hashtag they used, #WomenBoycottTwitter, was the second highest trending subject on Twitter Friday morning. Organizers recommend that those unable to join the boycott work to amplify and support the voices of women they know.
Count me in! https://t.co/ab4CXRygwa
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) October 13, 2017
According to their tweets, the social media strikers are not just unhappy with McGowan’s treatment, but with Twitter’s overall harassment policy. Some noted that while McGowan was swiftly suspended, the white supremacist Richard Spencer, among others, enjoys unhindered access to the service. Additionally, the San Francisco-based social media provider has been the subject of numerous complaints that it doesn’t take harassment seriously.
Women have reported being the subject of sexual assault threats, outspoken Jewish tweeters have received photoshopped images of themselves as victims of the Holocaust, the list goes on. The boycotters hope to force Twitter into enacting policies that will make their response to online abuse much quicker.
#womenboycottTwitter is about
1. Fast enforcement of anti-abuse policies
2. Ways to report multiple abusive accounts
3. Respecting women
— Heidi N Moore (@moorehn) October 13, 2017
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) October 13, 2017
For its part, Twitter says it “stand[s] with the brave women and men who use Twitter to share their stories, and will work hard every day to improve our processes to protect those voices.”
Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power. We stand with the brave women and men who use Twitter to share their stories, and will work hard every day to improve our processes to protect those voices. 3/3
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 12, 2017
Not everybody however, thinks the protest is the wisest move. Certain alt-right provocateurs celebrated it as a way of muting predominantly white, feminist voices on the platform, while others called it an oxymoron. Some left-leaning activists also noted that the solidarity was triggered by a white woman, McGowan, being suspended and wondered when that too would be extended to women of color.
— 👻Imani Gandy👻 (@AngryBlackLady) October 13, 2017
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