Leslie Jones Finds #LoveForLeslieJ Support After Brutal, Racist Twitter Attacks
Update, 7/20: Twitter has finally banned Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, the man seen as a leader of the enduring Twitter campaign of harassment against comedian Leslie Jones, amid a longtime record of female-facing Twitter harassment on Milo's part.
"We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree," Twitter said in a statement on the evening of July 19. They also promised to "take faster action on abuse" and promised that they were "reviewing [their] hateful conduct policy," which currently seems scarce. As fans and media outlets including Vanity Fair observed, while Instagram managed to make the snake emojis in Taylor Swift's Instagram comments disappear yesterday, every overtly racist and abusive comment posted toward Leslie Jones remained unchecked on Twitter, spurring the actress to declare she was done with the site altogether.
Will Twitter's promise extend to the hundreds of non-celebrities who receive death threats and gender/race-based discrimination on a daily basis? That remains to be seen. Read Twitter's full statement here.
Original story: When ghosts attack, Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones has the power of proton containment lasers at her disposal. When shameless, backwards racists attack, Leslie Jones has the power of decent human beings on her side.
Yesterday (July 18), amid reports that the new reboot film had opened pretty successfully, hateful, unprovoked morons began arbitrarily tossing vicious memes, images and sentiments Jones' way (we're not gonna post them here, but you can scroll through her timeline for pretty quick, damning evidence). Trolls attacked Jones' looks, culture and talent, but, true to form, she successfully shrugged it all off — at least at the get-go.
The mud-slinging got worse, though, and bit by bit, Jones eventually began to unravel. One account even crafted a fake tweet from a copycat account to try to make it appear as though Jones had been using gay slurs.
But when Jones was knocked down, she found some timely support in her corner. Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, Anna Kendrick, and Margaret Cho all voiced social media support for the actor with the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ. And soon, the white noise was drowned out.
For many Twitter users, though, a hashtag wasn't enough. In light of the vitriol, a crowd urged Twitter to change its policies to more effectively block accounts that have a demonstrative history of hate or aggression. Still, as Gizmodo reported in 2015, Twitter has a history of inefficiently enforcing its anti-hate policies.
If you're rightfully appalled, be sure to contribute to #LoveForLeslieJ. And, if you've seen Ghostbusters, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.
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