Actress Rose McGowan said in an Instagram post overnight that her Twitter account had been temporarily locked. The suspension happened following a series of tweets reacting to the recent widespread allegations of sexual harassment from women in Hollywood against famed producer Harvey Weinstein.
"TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE," McGowan wrote in her Instagram post.
In the tweets, McGowan was critical of Weinstein and called out other men in Hollywood that she felt had knowledge of or were somehow compliant in Weinstein's actions.
According to a recent New York Times report, McGowan is one of up to eight women that Weinstein settled cases with (McGowan reached a settlement for $100,000 back in 1997 after Weinstein made unwanted advances in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival).
The damaging allegations led to Weinstein's firing from the production company he cofounded, The Weinstein Company.
Many Hollywood stars have been vocal in their support of McGowan and have criticized Twitter for what they believe to be inconsistencies with the way their policies are applied in the wake of Donald Trump's often controversial daily attacks on the social network.
Famed actress Jamie Lee Curtis was among those who spoke out. "And now THIS? You allow Twitter freedom to our president but you silence a woman speaking out about sexual harassment?"
Calls have started for women to boycott the social network on Friday, October 13, with the creation of the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter already trending. People are calling on users not to use the service for one day because actress Rose McGowan's account was temporarily limited for violating its policies.
By the time Twitter publicly addressed the tweets, the damage had already been done.
Representatives from Twitter said it was the result of McGowan including a personal phone number. "We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan's team. We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates of our Terms of Service. The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future."
"Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power. 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," representatives said.
What business owners can learn from the backlash Twitter is getting.
In the wake of Twitter's latest PR nightmare, CEO Jack Dorsey promised the company would be more transparent going forward in an effort to rebuild trust with users. You're too late, Jack! Twitter users having been waiting for years for some transparency regarding its policies on abuse.
Twitter users have long complained that the company doesn't do enough to prevent abuse from happening on the site. So, it's not a surprise to see the type of reaction people are having to McGowan's account being suspended, while other users, including President Trump, are able to play by a different set of rules.
To make customers happy and to make them feel like they are being treated fairly, businesses need to keep customers fully informed in a way that is clear, and apply their policies consistently.
After seeing so many get away with abuse on Twitter over the years, users are in the dark about the expectations on the platform and what they can and can't do.
Customers who are in violation of a policy should be made aware of it right away. Twitter suspended McGowan's account and waited for hours before they communicated with her.
In the meantime, the damage has been done and an entire boycott campaign was formed, complete with its own hashtag. Sad!