How Twitter Supports The Patriarchy
In the past couple days, numerous amounts of sexual assault victims began to speak out about their experiences, first starting with claims against Hollywood director, Harvey Weinstein.
As it turns out, Weinstein has targeted women for years throughout his career. Whether it was blackmailing them for a role in a film, or for money, he’s gotten away with most of it up until now. A snowball effect of victims coming out and sharing their experiences helped others also speak out. What resulted was not only Weinstein victims, but also new accusers shedding light on their personal experiences. This goes to show that encouraging victims to speak out and show that they will be listened to and taken seriously.
Despite all the conversation about this controversial topic, it seemed like Twitter was trying to censor the whole ordeal. On Friday, actress Rose McGowan spoke out against Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment accusations, and Twitter responded by suspending her account. Many women refused to tweet in protest of Twitter’s decision to suspend actress her account, as it seemed as Twitter was trying to censor and denounce her tweets.
Late Friday night, Jack Dorsey — Twitter’s co-founder and CEO — responded to the #WomenBoycottTwitter movement. Protesters compared the company’s enforcement of a 12-hour suspension after McGowan tweeted a private phone number to Twitter’s ongoing failure to police racist, anti-Semitic, and sexist harassment.
This isn’t the first time Twitter has been perceived to be on the wrong side of trying to improve their user experience. It’s common knowledge that Twitter always seems to suspend or delete accounts that fight Nazis because of their policy on violence, but yet continue to leave these extremist accounts untouched.
In a series of tweets , Jack Dorsey made the statement: “We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years,” Dorsey tweeted in a thread. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Is Dorsey and Twitter’s ‘new’ policy to be trusted? Will there be actual change or will these new rules further protect racists on the site. We’ll soon find out with time