UK

Twitter Boycott Questioned As Women Refuse To Stay Silent Over Sex Harassment And Abuse Claims

'I'm not going to boycott twitter, I'm going to sing like a bird.'

13/10/2017 12:19 BST | Updated 13/10/2017 12:38 BST

A call for women to boycott Twitter, after actress Rose McGowan was suspended over tweets after accusing Harvey Weinstein of rape, has been met with scepticism, as some say they won’t be silent now “the whole world is listening”.

Dozens of women have come forward making accusations of sexual assault and harassment against film producer Weinstein, triggering a conversation about the scale of both that women face.

Oscar-winning actor Emma Thompson labelled Weinstein a “predator” who is just the tip of an “iceberg”, adding his alleged behaviour was “endemic” in Hollywood.

#WomenBoycottTwitter trended on Friday as people pledged to quit the site in solidarity with McGowan.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein is facing mounting accusations of sexual harassment and assault, triggering a conversation about how much of both women face

After her Twitter account was restored, McGowan encouraged the boycott. Journalist Lauren Duca and model Chrissy Teigen are among those taking part, while a host of celebrities have also pledged their support.

But journalist Jane Merrick asked why women should quit the site given “we’ve only just started talking about the things we’ve kept a secret for years”.

As the hashtag trended, Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “I’m not going to boycott Twitter I’m going to sing like a bird.”

She shared a passage from her memoir Everywoman, in which she writes: “Our silence is complicity, our volume is napalm.”

Writer Kate Leth said she understood the idea of a boycott but added: “I don’t personally agree that silence is the right protest to being silenced”.

Author Samantha Shannon said she would not boycott but would be recommending books by women instead.

One Tweeter said they had “no idea why women would want to silence their voices when the whole world is now listening”. 

One woman said a boycott would “accomplish nothing”. Another asked: “Isn’t being silent about issues a hell of a lot worse than speaking up about them?” 

Another refused to boycott Twitter saying: “This is a time for us to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS.” 

McGowan’s suspension was due to the fact she tweeted a personal phone number in a series of tweets to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in which she alleged the head of Amazon Studios knew about her allegations about Weinstein and ignored them.

In later tweets, Rose also alleged that she sold a script to Amazon and tried to wrangle it back after hearing a “Weinstein bailout” might be taking place.

HuffPost UK has contacted Amazon for comment.