Leslie Jones And Her Racist Harassers Are Shining A Light On A Major Problem With Twitter
"I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this."
This is Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.
On Monday, she began sharing some of the racist and misogynistic tweets people have lobbed her way in the wake of the movie's release.
Understandably, she'd had enough.
Paul Feig, who directed and co-wrote the Ghostbusters reboot, and Katie Dippold, who co-wrote the film, have tweeted in support of Jones.
They joined hundreds of others tweeting words of praise and solace for the comedian through the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ.
Some called on Twitter and its support team to help regulate the tweets attacking Jones.
A representative for Twitter offered the following statement to BuzzFeed News on Monday: "While we don't comment on individual accounts, here's an explainer on our content boundaries here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311"
Well, here's one suggestion:
UPDATE: After retweeting scores of hateful comments, Jones opened up about how the experience made her feel in a series of tweets.
It’s so sad. Most of these comments sound like they are from ignorant children. ‘I’m the source of AIDS?!’ WTF!! These people hate themselves. You have to hate yourself to put out that type of hate. I mean, on my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out. I don’t know how to feel. I’m numb. Actually numb. I see the words and pics and videos. Videos, y’all. Meaning people took time to spew hate. … Like no shame or compassion for human life. It scares the fuck out of me!
I used to wonder why some celebs don’t have Twitter accts. Now I know. You can’t be nice and communicate with fans ‘cause people crazy. As much as I love live-tweeting, posting the pics of awesome things that happen in this life I’ve been blessed with, I don’t know anymore.
As much as you want to think actors ain’t human, I want to give you something to think about. I work off pure passion for this game. 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. I’ve never claimed to be better or special. I just try to do my job as best as I can. Isn’t that any of us, y’all? So yeah, this hurts me! It’s like when you think, OK, I’ve proven I’m worthy, then you get hit with a shovel of hated. I’m numb.
I mean, I know there is racism. But [am] I that naive to think that some things was changing? Yes, I was. We still live in a world where we have to say ‘black lives matter.’ I’m so tired of it. Why is this still a fight? I want to hate so bad, but I can’t because I know it doesn’t fix anything and just makes me sad. I’m not stupid to not know racism exists. And I know it will probably live on way after me. But we have to make people take responsibility, responsibility for the hate they spew. We have to stand up to it. Block [motherfuckers] but let them know they are racist and spewing hate. Stop saying, ‘Ignore them,’ or, ‘That’s just the way it is,’ ‘cause that’s bullshit. Everybody knows an asshole. Check them for their hate. Stop letting people get away with being ignorant. … Say something. Stop letting the ignorant people be the loud ones. … Be louder. I’m tired of everybody not believing they can change something. We are the people. We can change anything if we want.
I just am saddened today. Twitter, I understand you got free speech. I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when you let [hate] spread like that. You can see on the profiles that some of these people are crazy sick. It’s not enough to freeze [an] acct. They should be reported.
And for all the ‘don’t stoop to their level’ people, it’s way past that. So please have a seat. Don’t tell me how to react. ‘Cause I have every right to be offended and pissed.
… I feel like I’m in a personal hell. I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just too much. It shouldn’t be like this. So hurt right now.
UPDATE: A Twitter spokesperson sent BuzzFeed News the following statement late Monday night.
"This type of abusive behavior 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 behavior 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."