Ever since its genesis, Twitter has been infamous for its inability to curb sexual harassment of women on its platform. Time and again, women from all walks of life including celebs have been a victim of sexual harassment and while several have raised their voice against it, filed petitions, the support from the networking giant has disappointed women across the world. All lines were crossed when actress Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended earlier this week, in light of her recent tweets about sexual violence against women and specifically about her latest allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The suspension was followed by a boycott movement around the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter- a 24-hour boycott movement of Twitter to draw attention to online abuse on social media and their voices being silenced against the same. The movement was reportedly launched by a San Francisco based software engineer called Kelly Ellis, post the suspension scandal.
Individuals opting out doesn't seem to make a dent. What if #WomenBoycottTwitter for one day (along with men who stand with us?)— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) October 12, 2017
Twitter in its defense claimed the suspension of actress Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was a result of her disclosing a phone number in one of her tweets. The world clearly wasn’t satisfied with the defense as several launched a number of tweets highlighting instances where Twitter didn’t uphold its own policies.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, released a series of tweets assuring stricter vigilance and revamped policies to prevent the rampant and vicious harassment of women on the platform. The twitter storm was concluded as the following speech:
“We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years. We prioritized this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn’t enough.
In 2017 we made it our top priority and made a lot of progress. Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough.
We’ve been working intensely over the past few months and focused today on making some critical decisions. We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them. New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence. These changes will start rolling out in the next few weeks. More to share next week.”
Time will tell how efficiently is the promise made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in its new policies, but it's certain that Twitter has a lot at stake if it fails to do so as its competitors like Facebook and Instagram are more strongly bolstered in terms of its filtering processes to curb the harassment issues.