Why #WomenBoycottTwitter is happening today


Your Twitter feed looks different today.

The hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter is one of the top trends Friday as thousands of women announced their intention to stay off the social media platform for 24 hours as part of a protest sparked by the actress Rose McGowan.

McGowan, who is best known for her roles in "Scream" and the television series, "Charmed," had her Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) account suspended temporarily on Thursday after she spoke out against accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of rape, sexual abuse and other misconduct by a growing list of Hollywood stars.

"TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME," McGowan announced on Instagram. "THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE."

[Read: The Fastest Ways to Lose Money in the Stock Market.]

In a tweet, Twitter says that McGowan's account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which is a violation of the platform's rules of service.

35 PHOTOS
Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
Paz de la Huerta, who stars on HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire,' claims Harvey Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in 2010: "I was in no state. I was so terrified of him," she told Vanity Fair. "I did say no, and when he was on top of me, I said, 'I don't want to do this' ... It was disgusting. He's like a pig."
British actress Lysette Anthony has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in her home in the late 1980s.
Amber Anderson said Harvey Weinstein 'behaved inappropriately' and bragged about other actresses he had 'helped' in exchange for sexual favors.
Natassia Malthe has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room. On a separate occasion, after she was assured that Weinstein would not come onto her, she was allegedly escorted to Weinstein's hotel room by an assistant. In the room was another woman, who performed oral sex on Weinstein whil he asked Malthe to join.
Lupita Nyong'o wrote a detailed essay for the New York Times recounting multiple incidents with Weinstein, including an evening during which he asked her to give him a nude massage while his family was in the same home.
Marisa Coughlan said that she planned to meet Weinstein for a meeting at his hotel. Instead, he requested a massage.

Heather Graham said Weinstein told her he had an agreement with his wife that allowed him to sleep with whomever he wants. He then asked him to meet her to discuss a film project at his hotel, falsely telling her that her friend would also be present. She declined.

French actress Judith Godreche has accused Weinstein of inappropriately pressing up against her, trying to remove her sweater and asking for a massage.

Lauren Holly said that during a seemingly normal meeting with Weinstein to discuss a project, he began disrobing, got into the shower, and went to the bathroom while continuing to converse with her. He then allegedly asked her for a massage. She fled. 
Angie Everhart said that she was sleeping in her own cabin on a yacht when Harvey Weinstein entered, blocked the door and began masturbating. He told her not to tell anyone, but she "told everyone," including many actors and producers. In response, most told her that it was just Harvey being Harvey. In an interview with TMZ, she emphasized that anyone in the industry who knew Harvey at all knew that he regularly did things like what he allegedly did to her.
Kate Beckinsale has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in his hotel room when she was 17 years old.
Tara Subkoff said that in the 1990s, on the same day that she was offered a major movie role, she met Harvey Weinstein at a party. He allegedly made her sit on his lap while he had an erection. He then told her that if he did not do certain sexual things, she would not get the role that she'd already been offered. She declined. Afterward, she said, her "reputation was ruined by false gossip" and she found it near impossible to book roles.
Minka Kelly said that Harvey Weinstein offered her a lavish lifestyle in exchange for being his extramarital girlfriend. She declined.
Gwyneth Paltrow told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. After she told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, Pitt confronted him, leading Weinstein to contact Paltrow and "scream" at her, she said.
Asia Argento has accused Weinstein of raping her in his hotel room when she was 21. She first reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her. During subsequent encounters, she had consensual sexual relations with him due to fear that he would otherwise ruin her career.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In October 2016, she tweeted reference to a studio head raping her. In October 2017, in a tweet to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan referred to Weinstein by name while repeating her rape accusation. The alleged incident took place in the 1990s and resulted in a financial settlement.
Cara Delevingne has accused Harvey Weinstein of attempting to coerce her into kissing another woman in his hotel room. She had just begun her acting career and believed they were meeting just to finalize talks for a film role.
Angelina Jolie said she had a "bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth" and refused to work with him subsequently.
Jessica Barth has accused Harvey Weinstein of demanding that she get naked and give him a massage.
Emma de Caunes has accused Harvey Weinstein of unexpectedly getting naked and demanding that she lie down as other women had supposedly done before her.
Lauren Sivan has accused Harvey Weinstein of cornering her in a public space and masturbating to completion in front of her.
Mira Sorvino, seen here at a Weinstein Co. event in January 2017, said that after refusing Harvey Weinstein's advances, he dissuaded others in the industry from hiring her.
Ambra Battilana has accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her breasts and reaching under her skirt. She went to the NYPD and then conducted a sting operation, the audio of which was published by the New Yorker. In the audio, Weinstein can be heard attempting to coerce her to enter his hotel room.
Louisette Geiss has accused Harvey Weinstein of luring her to his hotel room after assuring her he wouldn't hit on her. He then disrobed and repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, telling her he would produce her screenplay if she did.
Emily Nestor (far right), a former Weinstein Co. employee, has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Rosanna Arquette has accused Harvey Weinstein of dissuading others from hiring her after she rejected his sexual advances.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. She has also accused others in the industry of knowing of Weinstein's misconduct and either actively or passively hiding it.
Ashley Judd has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of asking her for a massage and then asking her to watch him shower.
Florence Darel has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in a hotel suite in 1996 while his wife was in the room next door.
Zoe Brock (left, in 2004) has accused Weinstein of getting naked and chasing her around a hotel room after she refused to give him a massage.
Katherine Kendall (right, in 2006) has accused Harvey Weinstein of disrobing and asking for a massage in his apartment after a movie screening, telling her that "everybody does it." He then asked her to at least show him her breasts, which she refused.
Romola Garai has accused Harvey Weinstein of making her feel "violated" when he watched her audition wearing only a bathrobe in his hotel room.
Lea Seydoux has accused Harvey Weinstein of forcibly trying to kiss her on the lips in 2012.
Claire Forlani said she "escaped" Harvey Weinstein on five occasions. He allegedly told her about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had in turn established their careers. He also attempted to get her to give him a massage.
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Heidi Moore, a New York-based business editor, was one of the first to promote the boycott today. She told CNN that as a survivor of sexual assault, McGowan was lending a voice to many women who cannot speak about their own experiences.

"Twitter seems to be sending a message that they'd rather see us silenced than take real, meaningful action to fix a problem that's plagued Twitter since the beginning … when Rose McGowan was temporarily blocked by Twitter, that amplified the perception of silencing victims of various forms of abuse," Moore said. "The idea behind the boycott is to show Twitter that silence they seem to prefer, so we wanted to show them what it looks like."

9 PHOTOS
Supporters of #WomenBoycottTwitter
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Supporters of #WomenBoycottTwitter
To all women:if u boycott tdy, I support u. If you don’t,I support u too. Sisterhood means everything 2 me-loveu all. #WomenBoycottTwitter
Ladies. Let's do this. #WomenBoycottTwitter. Not because of hate but because I love this platform and know it can be better.
Tomorrow. No secret timeline checking, no tweets, no clicking the bluebird square. They need to see we matter.
See ya twitter ✌🏻 #womenboycottwitter https://t.co/PphXPypwWG
We all have a responsibility to support the voices of good and silence the voices of evil. @Twitter needs to do bet… https://t.co/BGRpXTi4dj
Starts now. https://t.co/wlCu3ro32C
Tomorrow (Friday the 13th) will be the first day in over 10 years that I won’t tweet. Join me. #WomenBoycottTwitter https://t.co/xoEt5Bwj5s
Signing off now until Saturday. If you choose to boycott: fab. If you tweet: pls amplify women’s voices. Do wha… https://t.co/cvuFX93KLF
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Twitter has a global user base of 328 million, but that's nothing compared to Facebook (FB), which has more than 2 billion monthly users. Twitter is a pretty popular way for investors to get stock market news and tips (and it's the platform of choice for President Donald Trump), but for the general audience, Twitter has long struggled to find relevance.

[See: 8 Times When You Should Sell a Stock.]

One of the biggest complaints about Twitter is abuse. Many women have complained that they are crudely victimized by anonymous users and Twitter is slow to respond, if at all.

Twitter is on the wrong side of this debate. That the platform is slow to block abuse and trolling of women, but quick to freeze McGowan's account is she was speaking out about abuse, makes Twitter tone-deaf to both the national conversation about sexual abuse and the problems that plague its own platform.

That is what's giving the #WomenBoycottTwitter its power Friday.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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