Boycott Twitter? Women call for day of silence to protest harassment, abuse

Don’t be surprised if your Twitter feed is a lot quieter than usual Friday. A daylong boycott is being organized to protest harassment and abuse against women on the site.

The idea for a boycott was first raised by software engineer Kelly Ellis, to show solidarity with actress Rose McGowan “and all the victims of hate and harassment Twitter fails to support,” and quickly gained momentum, especially in Hollywood.

McGowan, who has been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual harassment and abuse and has accused disgraced Hollywood mogul of raping her, had her Twitter account temporarily suspended Wednesday night. Twitter Inc. TWTR, +4.06%   said it was because she posted a private phone number in violation of the company’s terms of service.

Many Twitter users called that ridiculous, arguing that Twitter rules are not enforced fairly, and saying many users who use hate language and threaten violence — especially against women — are not punished.

“The sheer number of trolls and right-wing ne’er-do-wells infesting Twitter are driving women away,” writer Ana Valens told Gizmodo. “The boycott shows Twitter that they can’t ignore this problem any longer.”

Thursday night, the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter was the No. 1 trending topic in a number of major cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

It wasn’t just women, either:

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