Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was suspended overnight after she spent the past few days exposing the systematic sexual abuse of women in the entertainment industry. McGowan had most recently told Ben Affleck to “fuck off,” called Harvey Weinstein a “POS,” and called for the board of the Weinstein Company to be dissolved. McGowan’s account was restored early this morning.
It’s not clear what caused Twitter to suspend McGowan’s account, but it appears that the proclaimed 12-hour ban lasted closer to 5 or 6 hours. McGowan took to Instagram after being suspended to say, “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to questions from Gizmodo early this morning. The social media company has come under fire for not being more transparent about what is and is not grounds for suspension under its rules. Notably, high profile neo-Nazis and white supremacists like Richard Spencer and David Duke regularly spout hate speech on the site.
McGowan’s Twitter account has become an important sounding board in the wake of allegations that producer Harvey Weinstein has spent decades sexually harassing, assaulting, and raping women. The New York Times and the New Yorker have both published stories of Weinstein’s alleged crimes in shocking detail.
McGowan has also taken to Twitter to call out men like Ben Affleck for his own behavior towards women and the behavior of his brother, Casey. She has also called actor Matt Damon a “spineless profiteer.”
McGowan has also fought back against conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter who has repeatedly responded to McGowan’s tweets by saying that the women who were abused by Weinstein should have spoken up sooner. Schlichter referred to an alleged settlement that McGowan entered into with Weinstein, saying that she was “paid for her silence,” and implying that she was somehow to blame for some of Weinstein’s behavior.
The columnist for the publication Town Hall also referred to “false claims” and referred to “someone’s future” being destroyed. To be clear, it seems that the destruction Schlichter is referring to is that of sexually abusive men, not the women that they preyed upon.
Schlichter’s tactic of blaming victims is common among the more disgusting subset of humans on Twitter.
Schlichter has now blocked McGowan, presumably because he now needs a safe space. He tweeted that it was because of McGowan’s “behavior.” It’s not clear if Schlichter had any role in getting her banned.
We will update this post if we hear back from Twitter, but we’re not holding our breath. The company’s standard response to these issues tends to be that they won’t comment on individual accounts. But as has been noted before, Twitter doesn’t make clear what constitutes behavior that can get someone suspended from the site.
Update, 11:46am: Twitter just sent this response to Gizmodo:
We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan’s team. We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates of our Terms of Service. The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.
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.