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Rose McGowan suspended from Twitter after Ben Affleck tweets

Rose McGowan asked fans: ‘Be my voice.’
Rose McGowan asked fans: ‘Be my voice.’ Photograph: Nandez/BFA.com/Rex/Shutterstock

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.

Twitter told the Guardian that McGowan’s account was temporarily locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violates the company’s terms of service.

“The tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked,” a spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday.

“Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power,” she added. “We stand with the brave women and men who use Twitter to share their stories, and will work hard every day to improve our processes to protect those voices.”

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 20s. She reportedly received a settlement of $100,000 from Weinstein over an incident that took place in a hotel room in 1997.

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.

Olivia Solon contributed reporting

  • This article was amended on 15 October 2017 to correct the context of the alleged incident that led to McGowan’s settlement with Weinstein. It incorrectly said the alleged incident happened during the filming of the movie Scream.
This article titled "Rose McGowan suspended from Twitter after Ben Affleck tweets" was written by Anna Livsey, for The Guardian on Thursday 12 October 2017 05.09pm

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