Twitter has given actress Rose McGowan a timeout amid an uproar over alleged sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood.
How you describe that timeout depends on your point of view.
McGowan’s Twitter account has been “temporarily locked,” not suspended, a person familiar with the matter told CNET.
But in an Instagram post Thursday, McGowan said, “Twitter has suspended me. There are powerful forces at work.”
The actress, who has spent the last few days tweeting about sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, also posted a screenshot of a message from Twitter stating that her account will have some of its features limited for violating Twitter’s rules.
McGowan is one of the actresses who went public in an Oct. 5 New York Times story that first brought sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein to light. A New Yorker story this week has also alleged sexual assault. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex but has said he’s getting counseling.
Twitter has frequently come under fire for not effectively dealing with harassment on its social network. The company claims it holds all individuals to the same rules, but some Twitter users have voiced concerns that US President Donald Trump gets a free pass. Twitter said in July that it has clamped down on 10 times as many abusive tweeters as it had a year earlier, but McGowan’s recent account locking suggests that the company’s approach is unclear.
Account locking, or limiting, is a feature that’s part of Twitter’s efforts to reduce abusive behavior on the social media platform. The company outlined its account limiting process in a blog post in March, which described a “pattern of abusive behavior” as a violation of its rules.
While locked accounts are still accessible to other users, suspended accounts are typically not, even though they still exist on Twitter servers. If you try to view a suspended profile, you’ll see a notice explaining that the account has been suspended.
It’s not clear exactly why McGowan’s account was locked, but it came soon after she tweeted foul language to actor Ben Affleck and accused him of lying about his knowledge of Weinstein’s past sexual misconduct.
A Twitter spokesperson said only, “We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.”
According to the message that Twitter sent to McGowan, the company will reactivate her account in 12 hours once she deletes the tweets that break the rules.
A representative for McGowan said the actress was not available for comment.
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