Twitter Suspends Weinstein Victim Rose McGowan for Speaking Out Too Strongly

Actress Rose McGowan was suspended from Twitter after vigorously confronting alleged abusers. Misogynists, racists, and confessed sexual harassers continue to use the site freely.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Actress Rose McGowan took to Instagram late Wednesday to tell fans that her Twitter account had been suspended, warning of “powerful forces at work” following her criticism of the Weinstein Company. “Be my voice,” she told her growing #RoseArmy, which has supported the Charmed actress online in the wake of sexual-assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

The temporary suspension came after the star, one of many women at the center of the sexual-misconduct scandal surrounding Weinstein, used the platform to urge supporters to sign a petition calling for the board of the company to be dissolved. She claimed they were aware of the accusations against the movie mogul despite its claims to the contrary.

McGowan was named in an explosive New York Times report this week as one of the women with whom Weinstein reached a confidential settlement—of $100,000—following an incident in a hotel room in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival. She has spent the past week advocating for women and sexual-assault victims on Twitter and singling out those who she says knew of Weinstein’s harassment and long-remained silent.

“Burn it down to raise it up,” McGowan wrote on Instagram last weekend, adding days later: “The men of Hollywood need to know they own no woman. Stand for women. Stand for truth. Stop hurting us. Rise.”

McGowan now joins the ranks of controversial big names who temporarily—or permanently—lost access to their Twitter accounts. That list includes Martin Shkreli, the “pharma bro” and convicted felon; Milo Yiannopoulos, who organized a wave of racist abuse targeting Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones; and Chuck Johnson, who asked for donations to “take out” civil-rights activist DeRay McKesson.

Observers have repeatedly raised questions about whether President Trump’s Twitter usage has violated its terms of use, including when he has threatened nuclear war or members of the press.

Twitter initially did not specify which tweets got McGowan suspended, but said she violated its terms of service.

Later Thursday morning, however, Twitter released a statement explaining that McGowan’s account was “temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates our Terms of Service.”

The statement continued: “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.”

“Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus and we are now moving with more urgency than ever,” Twitter’s product boss Ed Ho said in January. “We heard you, we didn’t move fast enough last year; now we’re thinking about progress in days and hours, not weeks and months.”

Earlier Thursday, observers speculated that the suspension of her account could have been due to new rules announced in February, when The Verge reported that Twitter would lock accounts that swore at famous people.

A few of McGowan’s tweets over the past week did fit that description.

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“Bob Weinstein is a POS,” she wrote on Wednesday. “They allllll knew.”

And following a lengthy Weinstein condemnation from actor Ben Affleck—whose brother Casey Affleck has come under his own scrutiny for alleged sexual misconduct—McGowan tweeted: “Ben Affleck fuck off.”

She added, “‘GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT.’ you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.”

At least two other women, including TRL host Hilarie Burton and makeup artist Annamarie Tendler, have in the past week claimed that Ben Affleck himself inappropriately touched them.

As of 7:20 a.m., McGowan’s account had been “unlocked,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.