As a growing number of women accuse Harvey Weinstein of predatory behavior, actress Rose McGowan has used Twitter account to rally support for the women like her who are now naming themselves as his victims.
On the flip side of that support was her Twitter wrath toward Ben Affleck, who released a statement denouncing Weinstein this week. "You lie," she said in one tweet, tagging the actor's Twitter handle. McGowan has accused Affleck of knowing about Weinstein's behavior for years.
Overnight on Thursday, it appears that some of those tweets might have gotten McGowan temporarily suspended for the platform. The actress posted an image of a message she received from Twitter to her Instagram account.
Twitter didn't immediately return a request for more information, and it has a history of declining to comment on specific suspensions. McGowan's Instagram post also does not include the specific tweets that Twitter determined were in violation of the rules.
However, a few of McGowan's tweets about Affleck appear somewhat similar to those that have triggered temporary limitations on Twitter accounts in the past. There's one tweet that simply reads "Ben Affleck f--- off," and another, tagging Affleck's Twitter handle, that directly accuses him of lying. "'GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT' you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault," she wrote.
Other tweets, some using the hashtag #RoseArmy, have accused other associates and backers of Weinstein's projects over the years of being "guilty" as well.
All of those tweets are still live, however, so if they were part of the reason for McGowan's suspension, then it appears she has not deleted them - a step that would be required for her to regain access to her account, according to the email she received.
The specific type of suspension on McGowan's account indicates that it might have been automatically triggered by the platform's algorithms. As we reported in February, Twitter introduced the 12-hour account limitation earlier this year. This particular punishment does not rely entirely on user reports of possible rule-breaking but instead can also be triggered automatically. If an account is tagging others in potentially abusive tweets or firing off a great deal of similar tweets flagged by the system as potentially abusive, those can be factors that prompt a suspension, the company said at the time.
But like many of Twitter's anti-abuse practices, there's a lot of murkiness here to the enforcement. Even as the platform takes more aggressive steps to fight harassment and abuse, the actual enforcement of the rules designed to protect its users remains inconsistent.
Although Twitter has previously said that it takes the "newsworthiness" and "public interest" of a tweet into account when deciding whether to take action against it or not, these considerations didn't seem to apply to McGowan - even though McGowan and her tweets have become an important part of the news about Weinstein, a story in which she is directly involved as a victim.
According to the New York Times, McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997 for "an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival." Although she initially declined to comment to the Times, she has since, in real time, became one of the loudest advocates for his victims.