What started as an outburst against the sexual harassment in Hollywood, turned into a worldwide boycott of twitter by women! Hollywood actress Rose McGowan had used twitter as a medium to call out against the harassment’s by posting many tweets about Harvey Weinstein, a film producer. She is among the alleged victims of the disgraced film producer and is one of the first people to get vocal about these issues. Weinstein is accused of rape, but he denies any such thing.
What problems do women face in Twitter?
But thereafter on Wednesday, the actresses Twitter account was temporarily suspended against which there has been a worldwide protest with women declaring that they would boycott Twitter. The boycott was first initiated by Kelly Ellis a software engineer as a way to show solidarity for McGowan. A number of high-profile celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Mark Ruffalo then joined the boycott giving examples of their experiences of abuse in Twitter. Twitter has over and over again been criticised for failing to suspend users who post rape and death threats. The hastag #WomenBoycottTwitter is surfacing in all social media and is being shared and posted everywhere in just a matter of hours.
1) @jeffbezos I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 12, 2017
Tomorrow I follow the Women. #WomenBoycottTwitter
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 13, 2017
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 13, 2017
Taking a mental health break from Twitter. #WomenBoycottTwitter
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) October 13, 2017
Twitter however reasoned later that the actresses account was suspended as she had broken some terms of service by twitting a private phone number. This approach by twitter has been questioned by all. Many think that it was a way to silence the outburst of the alleged victim. The company’s selective approach in enforcing the breach of terms of service is a point of concern for all. People taking part in the boycott had cited many examples and had given many details of incidences of abuse on the same platform.
Boycotters have questioned Twitters transparency and legitimacy in dealing with such harassment incidences which have been ignored in many instances. Many have expressed their frustration in the manner Twitter operates. Many mentioned that twitter lacks policies in combating harassment. The company has also been under intense scrutiny recently after its decision not to suspend President Donald Trump’s account after his controversial tweets that allegedly was against its policies and rules. According to them such problems cannot be ignored any longer and somebody needs to take step until the same are resolved by the company.
Curbing the freedom of expression:
However many have not supported the boycott though they are in support of the sentiment. They say that boycotting will not give a solution to the issue. Rather people should have more strong responses on the social media instead of going quiet on the platform and silencing the voice of the victims of abuse and harassment cases.
Today in the light of all these developments a tweet came from Jack Dorsey , CEO Twitter that more strict and tougher rules would be taken in the next few weeks against unwanted sexual advances, nudity that is non-consensual, hateful symbols and against groups and postings that propagate violence.
All these social sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook should develop proper agenda in combating the problems with more strict actions and rule along with rightful enforcement of the same.
Article by Abirami.