Leslie Jones is no novice at Twitter.
In June, the "Ghostbusters" star used the microblogging site to call out fashion designers for not making outfits for women her size, after she had difficulty obtaining a dress to wear to the movie's premiere. Her tweets brought her infuriating situation to the attention of "Project Runway" alum Christian Siriano, who happily dressed the actress, and the results were nothing short of stunning.
However, this story doesn't have a happy ending.
"I feel like I’m in a personal hell,” Jones tweeted. “I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just too much. It shouldn’t be like this. So hurt right now.”
Update: Twitter has permanently banned conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos after he encouraged users to harass Jones. On Wednesday, the hashtag #FreeMilo started trending on Twitter, with some users expressing their anger with the social network's decision.
She also shared screenshots of some of the offensive tweets she's received as well as images of fake accounts using her name.
Please help me find this fake Acct posting the most awful shit in my name. Help! pic.twitter.com/lp4RzVLb6f— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
She also called on Twitter to have stronger guidelines on accounts that tweet hate speech and harrass users, saying that it's not enough to freeze accounts, but that perpetrators should be reported.
Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that. You can see on the— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Profiles that some of these people are crazy sick. It's not enough to freeze Acct. They should be reported.— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Here are some examples of the gross, racist tweets that have been sent to her:
I just don't understand pic.twitter.com/N9xWoXPttu— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
Exposing pic.twitter.com/jfSbGj3yCP— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
Yep so sad these people have mothers and sisters and aunts. So fucking sickening pic.twitter.com/fEVLEgUfGh— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
Reported pic.twitter.com/EbctaTp5ze— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
So sad pic.twitter.com/WQn097m9hn— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
Exposing I hope y'all go after them like they going after me pic.twitter.com/ojK5FdIA0H— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
As a result, Jones decided to leave the conversation for the night.
I'm more human and real than you fucking think.I work my ass off. I'm not different than any of you who has a dream to do what they love.— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Ok I have been called Apes, sent pics of their asses,even got a pic with semen on my face. I'm tryin to figure out what human means. I'm out— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart.All this cause I did a movie.You can hate the movie but the shit I got today...wrong— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Thankfully, others are coming out in full force to defend the actress and the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ began to trend in response to the racist attacks.
"Ghostbusters" director, Paul Feig, and the film's co-writer Katie Dippold, tweeted their support of Jones.
I love @lesdoggg— Katie Dippold (@katiedippold) July 18, 2016
Not only brilliant but one of the kindest people I've ever met
Other celebrities also tweeted their support, such as comedian Margaret Cho, Anna Kendrick, Jada Pinkett-Smith and others.
A Twitter spokesperson issued a statement to BuzzFeed: "This type of abusive behaviour is not permitted on Twitter, and we've taken action on many of the accounts reported to us by both Leslie and others. We rely on people to report this type of behaviour to us but we are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse. We realize we still have a lot of work in front of us before Twitter is where it should be on how we handle these issues."
According to The Verge, Twitter is way behind in trying to protect its users from hate speech. "Twitter is still sorely lacking in ways to insulate a user from an incoming barrage of hate, and painfully slow to react to toxic users who use their accounts primarily to attack others," writes author Rich McCormick. "Some of the worst tweets called out overnight by Jones have been deleted — perhaps by Twitter, or perhaps by their shamed creators — but others remain, tied to anonymous accounts with long histories of the kind of hate speech that would not be tolerated in the real world."
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