How Leslie Jones smacking racist trolls could finally make Twitter a better place

07.19.16

Twitter can be a force for good. It can bring people together to enact sociopolitical change or just help people find others who love Pokemon Go! as much as they do. But like all social media, Twitter has a dark side. One populated by those who feel safe throwing epithets and threats at strangers due to the semi-anonymous nature of the platform. Mix that seedy underbelly with the volatile reactions to Paul Feig”s Ghostbusters reboot, and the result is going to make you lose a little faith in humanity.

Yesterday, the bile overflowed onto Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones in a big way. For hours, the actor's Twitter account was bombarded with sexist and racist messages. It took almost an entire day for Twitter to respond to the harassment. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey personally reached out to Jones over the incident, though for many people watching the harassment unfold in real-time, it was too little, too late.

In the video above and below, Donna Dickens and Jill Pantozzi discuss if perhaps the harassment of a high-profile celebrity like Leslie Jones will end up being the watershed moment Twitter users have been waiting for. Forget turning “favs” into “likes.” We need better harassment management tools!

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