Many #WomenBoycottTwitter to support Rose McGowan, others criticize campaign for ‘silencing’ women


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Many #WomenBoycottTwitter to support Rose McGowan, others criticize campaign for ‘silencing’ women

Many women and men on Twitter, including celebrities Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Banks and Gabrielle Union, are participating in a day-long boycott Friday against the social media platform in support of actress Rose McGowan, a vocal critic of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s behavior toward women.

As of Friday morning, more than 126,000 people have tweeted the #WomenBoycottTwitter hashtag.

McGowan’s Twitter account was suspended Thursday after she criticized Weinstein and actor Ben Affleck, who she said knew about Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct toward her but chose to remain silent.

She and Affleck co-starred in the 1997 film, “Going All the Way” and 1998 movie, “Phantoms.”

The 44-year-old actress shared a screenshot of the Twitter violation on Instagram with the caption, TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE. #ROSEARMY #whywomendontreport.”

Twitter said McGowan’s tweets violated policy because she tweeted a private phone number. The company said Thursday it will “be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.”

When McGowan re-emerged on Twitter Thursday, she wrote, “HW raped me.” “HW” was a apparently a reference to Harvey Weinstein.

"Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein," Weinstein's representative Sallie Hofmeister said Thursday.

According to the Associated Press, McGowan last year said that she had been raped by a “studio head.” An expose in Tuesday’s the New Yorker reported that Weinstein had allegedly sexually assaulted three women, with one of the women remaning anonymous. 

Earlier, the New York Times reported that Weinstein paid a financial settlement of $100,000 to McGowan in 1997 over an incident in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The #WomenBoycottTwitter campaign began at midnight Thursday in New York from software engineer Kelly Ellis, who criticized the social media platform for failing to support “victims of hate and harassment.”

Several celebrities followed suit.

But others said the #WomenBoycottTwitter campaign only reinforced silence.

And director Ava DuVernay criticized women supporting the boycott for not coming forward for women of color who faced similar issues in the past.

The social media giant is also in hot water with lawmakers over fake accounts and possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

According to the AP, a person familiar with the interactions between Twitter and the Senate Intelligence committee says the company will participate in a Nov. 1 public hearing. 

The House intelligence committee has also invited Twitter to appear for a public hearing this month.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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