Women — and men — are silently protesting the abuse directed at many on Twitter by vowing to not use the platform for 24 hours. Those participating tweeted late Thursday using the #WomenBoycottTwitter hashtag.
Software engineer Kelly Ellis first proposed the boycott, which began at midnight Friday. Those who joined were called to action after actress Rose McGowan, a critic on the platform of Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct, saw her account suspended. The protest is also in response to harassment on Twitter.
McGowan’s account, Twitter said, was initially locked because she tweeted a personal phone number — a violation of the platform’s policy. After McGowan removed the tweet, her account was unlocked. McGowan then tweeted at Amazon’s Jeff Bezos that she had repeatedly told a representative of his movie studio that “HW raped me,” according to The New York Times
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Since Ellis’ tweet, high-profile figures have vowed they’ll stand in solidarity by not tweeting. They include: director Ava DuVernay, model Chrissy Teigen, actor Mark Ruffalo and actress Alyssa Milano.
Voices in support of the boycott appropriately seemed muted Friday morning. Many expressed glee that women would not be using Twitter for a day.
Others criticized the boycott for purposely stripping women of a voice.
Teigen tweeted her support, and she wrote that in three minutes, a number of hateful mentions had been aimed at her.
“#thisiswhy,” she tweeted.
The Twitter Safety account tweeted about why McGowan’s account was suspended, and followed it up with an acknowledgement of the boycott.
“Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power,” the account tweeted. “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.”
Earlier this week, The Times reported, Ben Affleck condemned the accusers of Weinstein.
McGowan called him a liar and called out others in Hollywood who had stayed silent for years.
“You all knew,” she tweeted.