Women boycott Twitter after it suspended Rose McGowan for Harvey Weinstein tweets

'Women boycott Twitter' trending on platform

On Friday, thousands of people boycotted Twitter after the social media giant temporarily locked a celebrity's account.

Twitter suspended actress Rose McGowan's account for a tweet she sent that included someone's private phone number, a violation of Twitter's terms of service.

Twitter’s actions outraged many people who felt McGowan had been singled out because of recent tweets she had posted about Harvey Weinstein, and his mistreatment and alleged rape of women. That included McGowan, who settled a sexual harassment suit with Weinstein in 1997 for $100,000.

McGowan asked followers for support which resulted in a many people abstaining from Twitter on Friday, preemptively posting #WomenBoycottTwitter.

Many questioned Twitter's timing and what some perceived as an uneven method of policing tweets and Twitter’s policies.

“Maybe [McGowan] shouldn't have posted someone's phone number,” said Sara Strong, who joined the boycott. “But the fact that… [Twitter] is her way of speaking out and she got in trouble for it, I don't think that's right.”

In a series of tweets, the San Francisco company explained why McGowan's account had been unlocked, and that when the tweet in question had been deleted, Twitter unlocked her account.

"We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future," the company said.

Twitter's response fueled more outrage. Many who participated in the boycott said the social media platform had long turned a blind eye when it came to policing sexual harassment and bullying, while at the same time allowing tweets from President Trump which at times appeared to violate Twitter’s terms of service.

“A ban on Twitter for a day or just more awareness to that issue is really important and necessary,” said Catherine Epstein, who participated in the boycott.

Portland author and women’s advocate Asha Dornfest, also participated in the boycott

“The problem I have is that that sort of enforcement seems to be happening inconsistently,” said Dornfest. “This is a boiling point for so many women and I want to stand in solidarity with them.”

Celebrities also joined McGowan's call for silence on twitter. Actress Jessica Chastain asked for clarification on which rules McGowan had violated. "Asking for multiple victims of sexual violence," she wrote.

Jamie Lee Curtis wrote: “And now THIS? You allow Twitter freedom to our president but you silence a woman speaking out about sexual harassment?"

Model Chrissy Teigen also urged women to join her in the boycott.

"Ladies. Let's do this. #WomenBoycottTwitter. Not because of hate but because I love this platform and know it can be better," she wrote.

McGowan herself urged men to amplify women's voices and to call on their brothers to be better.

Dornfest said she used Friday’s day of Twitter silence to think about what she wanted to say about this and other women's issues in the future.

“Tomorrow and every day after that,” said Dornfest, “I think the most important thing women can do is get louder.”

USA TODAY’s Jessica Guynn contributed to this report

© 2017 KGW-TV


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