On Friday October 13, twitter users – activists, celebrities and journalists among them – joined a twitter boycott to protest the locking of actress Rose Mcgowan twitter account. After she went public claiming that her twitter had been taken away from her by the company on Wednesday.
The Company had locked Ms. Mcgowan account on the basis that she had sent a message containing personal contact in violation of its rules.
However, the move #WomenBoycottTwitter received split reactions. There were those who stood firmly in solidarity of Ms. Mcgowan, citing that twitter has for long failed to support the victims of hate and harassment, since Ms. Mcgowan is a chronic critic of the film producer Harvey Weinstien over his sexual harassment and assault of women allegations.
And then there were those who failed to join the bandwagon, saying that from where they stood, they did not silent protests the appropriate way of protesting.Even some going further to add that“I believe in loud annoyance” which,in great way is promoted by twitter.
One thing that stood between all of the reactions though, was that everyone jumped into a conclusion that hatred and sexual harassment is real and it is time we begin talking about it.
The protest, that had actually started on Thursday midnight did bore fruits because Rose Mcgowan account was unlocked and confirmed by the Twitter Company stating in a tweet (@twittersaftey ) , “The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in future”.
Twitter has in the recent past been struggling with finding a balance in moderating content on its platform with respect to principles of freedom of speech. More so with its efforts being undermined by pseudonymous trolls directing abuse to other users.
In reassurance to its users, it 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 we will work hard every day to improve our processes to protect those voices”.