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From critics taking issue with Twitter’s attack on someone who encountered Weinstein herself, to others wondering how McGowan‘s thoughts were more deserving of silence than nuclear threats tweeted by a world leader, some of the most surprising corners of rage came from conservatives bashing the tech company’s act of censorship.
While Twitter said McGowan’s account activity was restricted—not suspended as she originally shared—12 hours for violating the platform’s terms of service by tweeting a private phone number, conservative Twitter slammed the service for appearing to silence someone speaking out on the alleged sexual harassment.
Ann Coulter‘s tweet implied that NBC, which allegedly attempted to squelch Ronan Farrow’s story on Weinstein several times, was behind the account activity.
Did NBC buy Twitter? Actress Rose McGowan's Twitter account suspended for tweets about Harvey Weinstein. https://t.co/rG8skJhAu1— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 12, 2017
Far-right activist Jack Posobiec shared several tweets on the topic, from expressing a lack of surprise on Twitter’s action, to insinuating that McGowan’s an anti-Hollywood truther who needs to be interviewed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Because of course https://t.co/q2VaVGMt29— Jack Skelington Poso (@JackPosobiec) October 12, 2017
Rose McGowan will return with more power than ever to fight the Hollywood sickos pic.twitter.com/RpDxBI14Jh— Jack Skelington Poso (@JackPosobiec) October 12, 2017
Hannity needs to have on Rose McGowan— Jack Skelington Poso (@JackPosobiec) October 12, 2017
Meanwhile, far-right conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich shared an article on McGowan’s account restrictions, no commentary included.
InfoWars‘ Paul Joseph Watson chimed in, too.
Why is Twitter silencing sexual assault victims? https://t.co/PZ9eVPhwY3— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 12, 2017
Rose McGowan is gonna be PISSED when her suspension runs out. Huge PR blunder by Twitter.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 12, 2017
Even the account for conservative Reddit rabbit hole /r/The_Donald appeared to side with McGowan’s supporters.
If there is one guarantee in life it is that Twitter will always make the absolute dumbest move at the absolute worst time #RoseMcGowan— /r/The_Donald (@thedonaldreddit) October 12, 2017
However, despite the spike in outrage seeming to support sexual assault survivors, it moreso appeared that much of the right’s outrage stemmed from Twitter’s apparent disregard for “freedom of speech,” as well as the censorship of allegations implicating a powerful Hollywood liberal and Democrat donor.
Radio host and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made this abundantly clear, conflating McGowan’s situation to the pushback conservatives feel when confronted by liberals online.
Hey Hollywood, it sucks when social media censors speech doesn't it?— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 12, 2017
Now you know what we Conservatives deal with everyday.#RoseMcGowan
The same goes for Posobiec, who took issue with Twitter’s lack of action taken toward President Donald Trump‘s supporters who had their contact information or address shared publicly through the platform. For Posobiec, there is no equivalency between the allegations brought against Weinstein and those made against Trump last year.
Media will try to draw false equivalence between the Weinstein tape and Trump— Jack Skelington Poso (@JackPosobiec) October 10, 2017
On Weinstein's tape you can hear Ambra begging to escape
Trump supporters get doxxed every day and you do nothing, but a Weinstein accuser does it and you suspend her https://t.co/P0eW0okfr5— Jack Skelington Poso (@JackPosobiec) October 12, 2017
Since the New York Times posted the first round of allegations on Oct. 5, Coulter has ripped into Weinstein and liberals’ apparently hypocritical support of the disgraced producer over their critique of similar harassment and assault allegations against Trump.
Meryl Streep on Trump: "This instinct to humiliate..it filters down." Streep 2012: "I just want to thank my agent & God -- Harvey Weinstein"— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 9, 2017
Actresses:"How do I tell my daughters about Trump?" I ask: "How do you tell your daughters you did nothing about Weinstein for movie roles?"— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 8, 2017
Democrats announce major Fundraiser: Elite Platinum donors get to watch Harvey Weinstein take a shower.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 8, 2017
Meanwhile, Coulter’s previous tweets about Trump don’t vilify him for the Hollywood Access tapes in which he bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
ABC lies: "Trump boasts of grabbing women without their consent." What he actually said: "They let you do it." That's not assault, morons.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 12, 2016
Watson, too, saw little comparison between the allegations made against Weinstein and Trump. However, while he references the Hollywood Access tape, he does not mention the tens of accounts of sexual harassment or assault made against the president across several decades.
Now that the full details of Weinstein's abuse are out, those who compared it to Trump's locker room talk are looking rather silly.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 10, 2017
While removing sexual predators from positions of power should be a bipartisan goal, it would appear that those vilifying Weinstein and his former supporters are more concerned with proving liberals are hypocrites over protecting and believing the accounts of survivors. Perhaps Friday’s Twitter protest against the company’s restriction on McGowan’s account might better separate those elevating the voices of Weisntein’s accusers over trolls using them to prove a point.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.