In the wake of the explosive Harvey Weinstein scandal, many more women who didn’t come forward for the New York Times and The New Yorker investigations have. Many, like Kate Beckinsale, have shared horrifying accounts of their encounters with the Hollywood mogul, while others have charged filmmaker Oliver Stone and an executive at Amazon Studios with similarly awful behavior. Through it all, actress and Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan has become one of the more dominant presences on Twitter — sharing her and others’ stories, as well as complaints about the platform’s CEO, Jack Dorsey.
This led to her levying charges against Ben Affleck, whom she alleges knew about Weinstein’s behavior when the pair promoted their 1998 film Phantoms, a temporary account suspension, and a boycott. #WomenBoycottTwitter began trending on Thursday, announcing a mostly female-less Twitter for Friday, October 13th. The boycott was more or less received positively, though director Ava DuVernay and others rightly indicated the charge’s initial color blindness. Come Saturday morning, however, it became readily apparent that Dorsey had taken notice.
In several tweets, he insisted his team had been “working to counteract” the silencing of voices on Twitter “for the past 2 years.” He also claimed this issue had been made a top priority in 2016, and still was in 2017. Even so, because of Friday’s boycott, Dorsey said he “saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough.” As a result, the company will now “take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them,” including “new rules” about “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.”
Dorsey concluded his comments by saying Twitter’s new rules and their enforcement “will start rolling out in the next few weeks.” Many of #WomenBoycottTwitter’s more prominant participants, as well as many others, responded positively to the news.
Some critics, however, remained skeptical of Dorsey’s announcement. After all, as one user pointed out, the platform “has been around for 11 years.”