Aside from maybe Dove, is there a company with more unforced errors than Twitter?
That's a rhetorical question, of course.
Twitter caught heat again this week after it temporarily locked the account of actress Rose McGowan. She has been on a tear these last few days following allegations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is a major league sexual predator.
McGowan has been shouting for years about the film industry's sex abuse problem, and the latest reports on Weinstein have served as a sort of vindication for her. Along with tweeting notes that amount to "I told you so!" she has also taken on high-profile celebrities, including Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, for either reportedly shielding sexual harassers or participating in the harassment themselves.
Despite the usefulness of her input, McGowan's Twitter posts were apparently too much for the social media company's powers that be.
The actress' account was paused temporarily this week, as McGowan revealed early Thursday morning in an Instagram that read: "TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE."
TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE. #ROSEARMY #whywomendontreportA post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) on Oct 11, 2017 at 9:19pm PDT
She was told that her Twitter account wasn't fully suspended, but that she had been barred from writing, retweeting, or "faving" anything for at least 12 hours.
Twitter defended the temporary suspension by explaining McGowan had broken its Terms of Service by posting a Hollywood agent's personal phone number.
"We have been in touch with Ms. McGowan's team," a company representative said Thursday. "The Tweet was removed and her account has been unlocked. We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future. Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power."
"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 voice," the spokesperson added.
McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997 following a yet-to-be-disclosed incident that took place at the Sundance Film Festival.
With several new reports alleging the infamous producer is one of Hollywood's most prolific sexual harassers, McGowan's voice is finally being given serious and real attention. And deservedly so! Considering the size and scope of the Weinstein scandal, which reaches all across Hollywood, the news industry and even the Manhattan D.A.'s office, McGowan's insight is deserving of attention.
We understand Twitter's position on its Terms of Service, and McGowan does appear to have broken them. That said, surely there was a better way to handle this. Surely, there was a way to do this that didn't also involve temporarily silencing one of the few women in Hollywood who is willing to talk about the industry's far-reaching sex abuse scandal.
It's almost as if Twitter is trying to make people dislike it.
The move against McGowan comes just three days after the popular social media platform blocked Rep. Marsha Blackburn's Senate campaign launch video, arguing that the congresswoman's pro-life rhetoric was too "inflammatory."
We said it earlier this week, and we'll say it again: It's remarkable that on a platform where little is done to curb harassment and abuse, and where self-avowed white supremacists are not only given a platform, but some are even verified, people like Blackburn and McGowan are the ones who get the hammer.
Twitter has a responsibility to protect its users, but it needs to think longer about who it considers abusers.