After the whole debacle with Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment allegations, women took to social media to vent their frustrations, including A-list actresses who revealed allegations of Weinstein’s sexual advances.
Rose McGowan has been “temporarily suspend from twitter following her comments about the Harvey Weinstein controversy” (Director 2017, n.p.) explains this Good Morning America cover story.
Despite Twitter’s attempt to rid their site of McGowan, once suspended her message began trending in the form of hashtags: #WomenBoycottTwitter. The hashtag urged women to boycott twitter on Friday October 13th because of its poor method of addressing free speech and abuse. Women expressed their complaints on how the social media site handled serious harassment complaints. When the women confronted twitter with evidence of harassment by other users, Twitter made no efforts to reprimand the abuse.
A Twitter user by the name of Tara Strong tweeted:
“This was @twitter’s response when I reported a guy who tweeted 34 consecutive violent death threats #WomenBoycottTwitter
Hello, we have investigated the reported account and have found that it’s not in violation of the Twitter Rules (Https://Twitter.com/rules) at this time…” (Price 2017, n.p.).
Another Twitter user by the name of Erin FitzGhoul stated:
“When I reported a guy who was impersonating me sending porno messages 2 my coworkers I was banned by @Twitter 4 days #WomenBoycottTwitter” (Price 2017, n.p.).
While there were many women in support of boycotting Twitter, others disagreed, stating that instead of silencing their voices they should use the social media outlet to be heard.
Twitter user Alex Massey stated:
“I refuse to silence my voice in protest of being silenced. Who on earth came up with that logic!? #WomenBoycottTwitter” (Price 2017, n.p.).
After McGowan’s removal from Twitter, the social media site defended their actions by stating that her account was suspended for other violations; not because of her numerous tweets about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment. Regardless of the reason, the boycott has revealed larger concerns surrounding Twitter’s policies and long-standing abuse problems.
Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey stated in a tweet that the company needs “to be a lot more transparent in [their] actions in order to build trust” (Kantos 2017).
The company’s social network’s Safety account tweeted:
“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” (Director 2017).
Director. (2017, October 12). Rose Mcgowan – Calling For Weinstein’s Board To Resign – GMA [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DREeY3gMPc
Kantos, Jodi and Megan Twohey. “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” Https://Www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/Us/Harvey-Weinstein-Harassment-Allegations.html, 5 Oct. 2017.
NICK ROMANO. “Celebrities support #WomenBoycottTwitter protest after Rose McGowan’s suspension.” Http://Ew.com/Movies/2017/10/13/Women-Boycott-Twitter-Celebrities/, 0ADAD.
Price, Rob. “Many women are boycotting Twitter on Friday over its approach to abuse.” Http://Www.businessinsider.com/Womenboycotttwitter-Women-Boycott-Twitter-Abuse-2017-10, 0ADAD.