This is not the yellow brick road.
Twitter promises to buckle down on inappropriate content following the 1-day boycott initially started by actress, Rose McGowan. Her Twitter account was temporarily suspended last Thursday after tweeting against Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, for his continual abuse of power. McGowan responded by posting Twitter’s snapshot of her suspension on Instagram saying, “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE.” She is 1 of over 40 women who have spoken up against sexual harassment from Weinstein. Twitter said that her account was momentarily restricted for violating their terms of service by tweeting a private phone number.
The public’s response to this conflict was Twitter has always dragged their feet with preventing abuse. Why would they so rapidly suspend McGowan’s account but allow President Trump to verbally run rampant? Shortly after, the tag #WomenBoycottTwitter went viral and dozens of celebrities including Jamie Lee Curtis, Alyssa Milano and Christine Teigen confirmed their unity in the boycott. Other actors such as Mark Ruffalo and John Cusack also tweeted that they will be joining the protest. This boycott lasted a complete 24 hours last Friday on October 13th.
This is the last thing Twitter needs right now. The social platform has struggled on upward growth for years and was later accused of allowing Russia to almost interfere with the U.S. Election. The network received harsh criticism from Senator Mark Warner of Virginia saying that Twitter’s defense was “inadequate on almost every level…an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions, and, again, begs many more questions than they answered.” Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, aware of the massive pressure he’s under, has been nothing but transparent about his plans for moving forward.
Dorsey first wrote on his awareness of hate, abuse, and violence on his platform in an email to Wired, “We realize that a more aggressive policy and enforcement approach will result in the removal of more content from our service. We are comfortable making this decision, assuming that we will only be removing abusive content that violates our rules,” the email read. “To help ensure this is the case, our product and operational teams will be investing heavily in improving our appeals process and turnaround times for their reviews.” The specifics for this have been aiding female users who have had their nude photos circulate or are being sexually harassed on their platform. Yesterday, Twitter collaborated with its Trust and Safety Council to begin implementing changes targeted at achieving these goals.
Do you think Twitter has a fighting chance of regaining the public’s trust or is it down for the count?
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