Women Are Boycotting Twitter Today in Solidarity with Rose McGowan
Women on Twitter have Rose McGowan’s back.
Female users of the site have launched a boycott of the social media platform after it briefly suspended McGowan’s account following her tweets about the alleged sexual misconduct of film producer Harvey Weinstein.
McGowan on Thursday said Twitter suspended her account after she posted tweets directed at Ben Affleck. In her messages, she told the actor to “fuck off” and accused him of lying about what he knew of Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct.
Critics blasted the social media site for suspending McGowan’s account while allowing other users who post offensive and hateful messages to maintain their Twitter presence. The incident prompted software engineer Kelly Ellis to call for a boycott of Twitter. The day-long protest that began at midnight on Friday is intended to call attention to “women’s voices being silenced” on the social media site, according to a placard being shared by boycott participants.
More than 126,000 people used #WomenBoycottTwitter in the lead-up to the protest, with some using the hashtag to share stories of their own harassment on the site.
Actress Tara Strong posted that she’d received 34 violent death threats from a user on Twitter, but the site did not suspend his account. Twitter reportedly found that he did not violate Twitter Rules.
Actress Erin Fitzgerald tweeted that someone was impersonating her on Twitter and sending “porno messages” to her coworkers. When she reported it, she was suspended from Twitter.
Model Chrissy Teigen called on women to boycott the site because she “loves” Twitter and knows “it can be better.”
Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted that Friday would be the first day in ten years that she wouldn’t tweet, and she asked others to join her in protest.
Men also supported of the boycott, including actors Mark Ruffalo and Terry Crews. Earlier this week Crews shared his own experience with sexual harassment by a Hollywood executive.
Some suggested the boycott was foolhardy, as it would effectively silence women on the platform. Comedian Kathy Griffin responded to that argument, tweeting, “#WomenBoycottTwitter will not silence us, but @Twitter will make much less $$ b/c of fewer clicks.”
When Fortune asked for comment on the boycott, Holger Kersting, Twitter’s communications director for EMEA, referred to a previous thread posted to the @TwitterSafety account, which said:
‘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.”
“Nothing more specific to add beyond this right now,” Kersting said.