Twitter explains why it temporarily banned Harvey Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan Twitter ban

Social network Twitter has been trudging through a more volatile PR situation than usual after it temporarily banned the account of Rose McGowan, an actor-come-activist who has been looking to catalyse victims of sexual assault and harassment to speak out against their abusers following the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal.

Solid allegations of sexual harassment against the producer were first published by the New York Times last week. Since then, more cases have cropped up. Charmed actor McGowan has emerged as a prominent voice since, using Twitter as a platform to mobilise any victims of abuse to come forward and tell their stories.

McGowan in particular has inside knowledge of the Weinstein case, having herself reached a $100,000 settlement with the producer in 1997 following an incident at the Sundance Film Festival.

McGowan's supposedly ban-worthy outburst was misconstrued by the wider Twitter community to be a tweet reading ‘fuck off Ben Affleck’. She sent another tweet claiming he was lying about not knowing about his long-time collaborator's misconduct.

In response she said.

Since the ban a slew of I am Spartacus-style ‘Fuck off Ben Affleck’ tweets have cropped up in protest – a seemingly fitting tribute but a PR disaster for Warner Bros Justice League lead.

After the ban, McGowan took to Instagram to claim there was a wider conspiracy against her. She said: “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE.”

Twitter however, looked to defuse the situation by clarifying the cause of the ban – apparently the posting of a private phone number.

Some commentators said they would like to see the company handle trolls, racism and antisemitic abuse with the speed in which it issued McGowan a 12-hour ban.

Affleck has come out of the incident worse for wear, after his statement, a 2003 breast grope made against Hilarie Burton resurfaced to bite him – a move he just apologised for and was promptly rebuked on.

John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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