UPDATE: Conservative writer Milo Yiannopolous (@Nero) has been suspended indefinitely from Twitter after inciting the volley of abusive, racist, and sexist tweets against Leslie Jones. “People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter, but no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others,” Twitter said in a statement after determining that Yiannopolous spearheaded the smear campaign.
Twitter did a good thing, guys.
Twitter is a volatile place. One minute, you’re diving through a crazy thread; and the next you might be fighting off trolls who called you a nigger and wished you were dead. Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones saw the worst the site had to offer last night (July 18):
Eventually, it just became too much to bear:
And this is why we can’t have nice things.
Twitter co-founder/CEO Jack Dorsey reaching out to Jones is a nice touch, but so far this kind of outreach is the exception and not the rule. There’s a stark difference between “free speech” and flat out bile-crusted internet hatred, and the vitriol that countless women like Jones and the victims of alleged rapist Ian Connor like Malika Anderson have to deal with stems from that disgusting slop bucket. I’d hop off and take a break too if it weren’t my job to always have an ear to the ground.
Azealia Banks is the only recent exception to this rule, and while she definitely deserved to be banned for her heinous comments toward Zayn Malik, the fact that an “angry Black woman” is the only account to go down while trolls eat away at Jones and others with total anonymity needs to change, and fast.
Twitter, this is a writer reaching out. People like Ian Connor, Donald Trump, and are spouting racist/sexist rhetoric and they get to slip by unnoticed? Change your decency policies and bring it to these fuckheads in a big way. Everyone else reading this? Do your part to call out racism and sexism as you see it and shut it down. Indifference won’t clean out those dirty corners.