“We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years,” Dorsey tweeted. “Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough…We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them.”
McGowan reacted via Twitter, thanking her supporters:
Twitter temporarily suspended McGowan’s account because one of her tweets included a private phone number. The social media platform later said it removed the offending message and vowed to be clearer in the future.
McGowan, a vocal online presence in the wake of the revelations of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, subsequently wrote on Instagram that her Twitter handle had been “suspended.” The platform’s decision to lock the account for 12 hours was then met with consternation, given the opacity of the reasons behind it.
The Twitter statement on the ban: “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.”
Twitter has been criticized for its somewhat ambiguous policies over the years over what is free speech and what is abusive. The #WomenBoycottTwitterboycott that took place Friday over the suspension of McCowan’s account triggered the latest rounds of self-examination.