Before Monday, actress Leslie Jones had lots to be happy about: the rebooted “Ghostbusters” opened to a $46 million box office weekend, and as part of the four-women lead ensemble, she’s inspiring young women to be whatever they want to be.
But, in the world of the internet, someone always comes along to ruin it. For Jones, it was a barrage of racist and sexist tweets sent at her Twitter account.
While she began by simply blocking the users, Jones later chose to expose them, retweeting the ugliest comments to show her Twitter followers the regular abuse she endures.
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Jones retweeted 18 attacks, many of which referred to her as an ape. She also found a fake account using her name. She followed the retweets with her own thoughts on the matter, expressing her disgust and disbelief.
She then addressed the need for some sort of censorship on Twitter, where it’s fairly easy for trolls using fake names to attack others.
The Twitter rules of use state that accounts “promot[ing] violence against or directly attack or threaten[ing] other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease” may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.
A Twitter representative sent the following statement to BuzzFeed News: “This type of abusive behavior is not permitted on Twitter, and we’ve taken action on many of the accounts reported to us by both Leslie and others. We rely on people to report this type of behavior to us but we are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse. We realize we still have a lot of work in front of us before Twitter is where it should be on how we handle these issues.”
After a long day of addressing the hateful tweets, Jones sent signed off for the night (and it’s unclear if it’s for good):
But some good did come out of the hate: Her tweets quickly inspired the hashtag #LoveforLeslieJ, through which thousands of users showed their support for the actress — including “Ghostbusters” director Paul Feig.
Kate Miller: 816-234-4077, @_Kate_Miller_