Women vow to leave Twitter on Friday the 13th over Rose McGowan’s suspension

Screengrab via Wochit Entertainment/YouTube Photo [email protected]/Twitter (Fair Use)

Women are sick of Twitter’s sexist double-standards.

Actress Rose McGowan was temporarily suspended from Twitter for 12 hours on Wednesday night, forcing her to only use DMs until she deleted a tweet that allegedly violated the service’s rules. In response, women across Twitter are pledging to boycott the site on Friday, saying the platform punishes women for speaking out about harassment but does not punish the harassers themselves.

McGowan has been very vocal about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, especially since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein came to light. The New York Times said her suspension may be over tweets directed at Ben Affleck, alleging that the American actor knew that Weinstein was sexually harassing women. Another tweet from McGowan claimed that various figures in Hollywood were well aware of Weinstein’s actions, yet did nothing to stop him.

Twitter has since told the Hollywood Reporter that McGowan’s account has been unlocked. But for many feminists, her suspension represents a much larger problem with rampant misogyny on the social media service. So now women are tweeting out #WomenBoycottTwitter, calling on women to leave Twitter on Friday the 13th in protest.

The idea in drawing attention to McGowan’s suspension is to expose the double standards in Twitter’s rule enforcement. While white supremacists, misogynists, and ISIS accounts run freely on the site—and the president can threaten world leaders—women like McGowan are punished for simply telling the truth.

And of course, #WomenBoycottTwitter isn’t just for women. Men are welcome to join in, too, by leaving the site for the day in solidarity.

Harassment remains an ongoing issue on Twitter. Studies show harassment still plagues the internet, and it took until mid-2016 for Twitter to ban over 300,000 accounts that were “promoting terrorism” on the site. Previous investigative reports reveal that Twitter’s focus on growth and revenue outpaced the site’s need for anti-harassment tools, letting abuse take over as the site continued to embrace more users. Perhaps a boycott will shine a light on this business decision.

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