Twitter’s inability to handle racist trolls and clamp down on inflammatory comments once again was highlighted when “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones abandoned her account, forcing the social network to issue a statement.
Yesterday, the comedian faced a barrage of racist and bigoted tweets. She tweeted that she saw pictures of comparing herself to ape, genitals and even sexually explicit images that contained her face.
“You have to hate yourself to putout that type of hate. I mean on my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out,” she surmised. “I feel like I’m in a personal hell,” Jones said in another tweet. “I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just too much. It shouldn’t be like this. So hurt right now.”
Jones then said she was quitting Twitter. “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart.All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the shit I got today…wrong,” she said in tweet that garnered 10,000 retweets, amplifying Twitter’s abuse problems.
Her anger sparked the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ to trend, garnering support from celebrities:
Stand with @Lesdoggg #loveforlesliej she is an inspiration and a legend in the making pic.twitter.com/dqotlPAETd
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) July 18, 2016
Leslie Jones is one of the greatest people I know. Any personal attacks against her are attacks against us all. #LoveForLeslieJ @Lesdoggg
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) July 18, 2016
Love you girl! xoAng #LoveforLeslieJ https://t.co/jpboYuQAKF
— Angela Bassett (@ImAngelaBassett) July 19, 2016
The social reaction only heightens Twitter’s alarmingly weak response it has against trolls, and it even acknowledged it in a public response released this morning:
This type of abusive behavior is not permitted on Twitter, and we’ve taken action on many of the accounts reported to us by both Leslie and others. We rely on people to report this type of behavior to us but we are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse. We realize we still have a lot of work in front of us before Twitter is where it should be on how we handle these issues.
Twitter has struggled to put an end to an abuse on the platform. It recently rolled out new “Safety” tools to make it easier to report abuse and even formed a so-called Trusty and Safety Council meant to identify “safety products, policies, and programs.”
Despite that, Twitter is still seen as weak in responding to disgusting tweets, particularly among its female users. Case in point was when GQ writer Julia Ioffe was harassed with anti-semitic tweets for her Melania Trump profile in April. That, combined with constant issues reported by Jones and others, shows that Twitter indeed thats a long way to go.
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