Twitter has been at the centre of a firestorm of criticism this week following its decision to temporarily suspend actress Rose McGowan’s account following her comments about the Harvet Weinstein controversy — and now some women are boycotting the social network in protest.
On Friday, women are being called on to ditch the platform for a day in anger at its approach to speech and abuse. The protest, which is being organised via the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter, is being billed as “a day-long Twitter boycott in protest of women’s voice being silenced.”
According to BuzzFeed, at least 126,000 people have already tweeted with the hashtag — though not all of these will be women planning to participate in the hashtag.
Some users are using the hashtag to share stories of their experience of abuse on Twitter, and to criticise the social network over its failings in handling the issue.
Some men are also joining the boycott in solidarity, including “Avengers” actor Mark Ruffalo.
Not everyone agrees with the boycott, however, with some suggesting that it would be more effective to share stories and experiences than to voluntarily go silent.
Following the uproar over McGowan’s suspension, Twitter said it restricted her accounts because she tweeted out someone’s phone number, rather than because of her tweets about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. But the boycott has since become a larger protest over Twitter’s policies and long-standing abuse problem.
Twitter CEO and cofounder Jack Dorsey said in a tweet that the company needs “to be a lot more transparent in our actions in order to build trust.”
Meanwhile, the social network’s Safety account tweeted: “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.”