Actress Rose McGowan was suspended from Twitter after posting tweets that criticized Harvey Weinstein and the sexual assault allegations against him.
On Wednesday, Twitter placed a hold on McGowan’s account. She responded by taking to Instagram and Facebook to let her fans and followers know she was being silenced.
“TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE. #ROSEARMY,” she wrote on her other social media profiles.
She included a screenshot of the message she received from Twitter that claimed she had violated the site’s terms of service and therefore would be locked out of the site for 12 hours and was urged to delete certain tweets.
Twitter’s decision did not go over well with the masses, who immediately objected to the actress’s suspension.
Outraged users chided the social media platform for allowing people like President Donald Trump to post threatening, warmongering tweets against North Korea and white supremacist Richard Spencer to spew hateful rhetoric about minorities, yet silence McGowan for speaking out against Hollywood’s sexual assault problem.
Rose McGowan attacks sexual harassers. Gets suspended.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) October 12, 2017
Richard Spencer attacks minorities. Gets blue checkmark.
And now THIS? You allow Twitter freedom to our president but you silence a woman speaking out about sexual harassment? @rosemcgowan— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) October 12, 2017
Twitter's decision initially seemed like a blatant display of hypocrisy, and the public wasn't having it.
Early Thursday morning, Twitter responded to the criticism by explaining that McGowan had breached their policies by tweeting out a private phone number, which falls under the private information violation. McGowan had to delete that particular post to have full access to her account restored.
"We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan's team," Kristin Binns, Twitter's chief spokesperson, said in a statement. "We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates our Terms of Service. The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked."
"We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future. 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.”
McGowan’s passion behind this issue stems from an incident she experienced with Weinstein that was revealed by The New York Times. Apparently, McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an encounter in a hotel room at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. That's how she knows firsthand the kind of predator Weinstein is, and now champions the voice of his other accusers.
Although Twitter clarified the situation, this fiasco says a lot about the site's questionable policies, overall. If tweeting out a private telephone number is grounds for suspension, then using the outlet to, essentially, declare war on another country should be, too.
Transparency isn't the only thing Twitter needs to improve upon.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, pinguino k