Actress Rose McGowan is not banned from Twitter for telling Ben Affleck to fuck off. The company temporarily restrained her from posting tweets because she put a private phone number in one of her messages, it says.
For breaking Twitter's rule prohibiting "posting another person's private and confidential information," McGowan was placed in a 12-hour timeout late Wednesday. McGowan then went to Instagram to summon her "Rose army" to fight the power, claiming "powerful forces" were working against her.
The actress' exact offense wasn't clear at first, spurring plenty of theories about her ban. But she has been outspoken in the social media conversation around Harvey Weinstein and his multiple alleged assaults on women over decades. Weinstein had been a Hollywood untouchable, atop The Weinstein Co. with his brother, but has been swiftly reduced to national disgrace.
McGowan has been calling out celebrities and industry insiders including Affleck in Twitter messages accusing them of covering for Weinstein for years. Weinstein produced Affleck and Matt Damon's breakout '90s hit, "Good Will Hunting."
After McGowan turned to Instagram, it seemed to many that Twitter was silencing voices against oppression or, at best, again enforcing its anti-harassment policies inconsistently. McGowan trended as defenders blasted Twitter on its own service.
"We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan's team," a Twitter spokeswoman said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. "We want to explain that her account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number, which violates 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."
Many have called Twitter's harassment rules and enforcement arbitrary because they allow President Trump to blast senators with taunts like "Liddle Corker" or call Mika Brzezinski "Low I.Q. Crazy Mika." Twitter has argued that the nature of the president's position makes what he says newsworthy.
Twitter put in place stricter anti-harassment policies in the past year in an attempt to make the platform safer for celebrities. A lot of them, like Leslie Jones, have dropped the service at times after running into armies of racist and sexist Twitter trolls.
Twitter also had a message of solidarity for the many men and women who have taken to the platform to speak against oppression, people like actor Terry Crews, who issued a series of tweets that revealed his own harrowing experience in Hollywood.
"Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power," the spokeswoman said. "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."