Rose McGowan sus­pended from Twit­ter af­ter Ben Af­fleck tweets

The Guardian Australia - - Technology / Sport - Anna Livsey

Ac­tor Rose McGowan, one of the ac­cusers of dis­graced film pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein, has had her Twit­ter ac­tiv­ity sus­pended. McGowan had ear­lier tweeted “fuck off” to ac­tor Ben Af­fleck and ac­cused him of ly­ing about his knowl­edge of We­in­stein’s his­tory of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

She an­nounced the 12-hour sus­pen­sion in an In­sta­gram post. Dur­ing this pe­riod she is not able to send tweets or retweets from her ac­count, un­less she deletes “tweets that vi­o­late our rules”, the no­ti­fi­ca­tion from Twit­ter said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear which tweets had fallen foul of Twit­ter reg­u­la­tions.

McGowan has been a vo­cal fig­ure in the We­in­stein scan­dal since the New York Times broke the story last week and has been us­ing Twit­ter to ex­press her sup­port for other women who have come for­ward, as well as to at­tack those who she sees as be­ing com­plicit, in­clud­ing the We­in­stein Com­pany board of direc­tors and high pro­file Hol­ly­wood fig­ures such as Matt Da­mon and Af­fleck.

On Wed­nes­day, Af­fleck apol­o­gised to ac­tor Hi­larie Bur­ton for grop­ing her dur­ing an ap­pear­ance on MTV’s To­tal Re­quest Live in 2003. He had ear­lier pub­lished a state­ment con­demn­ing We­in­stein for al­leged acts of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, prompt­ing the Twit­ter re­sponses from McGowan, who claimed Af­fleck was aware of the mogul’s be­hav­iour.

McGowan has been one of the most high pro­file ac­tors to have ac­cused We­in­stein of sex­ual mis­con­duct, al­leg­ing the film pro­ducer sex­u­ally ha­rassed and as­saulted her when she was in her early twen­ties. She re­port­edly re­ceived a set­tle­ment of $100,000 from We­in­stein over an in­ci­dent that took place while she was film­ing the movie Scream in 1997.

While the rea­son for the sus­pen­sion is not clear, ear­lier this year it was re­ported that Twit­ter was freez­ing ac­counts that tweeted pro­fan­ity in a bid to limit abuse on the plat­form. Once frozen, ac­counts would be un­able to tweet for 12 hours and could be made view­able only to ex­ist­ing fol­low­ers.

Twit­ter has not made the ex­act con­di­tions for lock­ing an ac­count pub­lic. How­ever, on its sup­port page it says that if it de­tects be­hav­iour that may “in­hibit other peo­ple’s abil­ity to ex­press them­selves freely”, it “may tem­po­rar­ily limit cer­tain ac­count fea­tures”.

The move by Twit­ter is likely to reignite con­tro­versy over its free speech and ha­rass­ment poli­cies, af­ter the com­pany re­cently said it would not ban Don­ald Trump over his tweets ap­par­ently threat­en­ing war with North Korea.

Rose McGowan asked fans: ‘Be my voice.’ Pho­to­graph: Nan­dez/­ter­stock

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