I’m sure you’ve all read or heard about Leslie Jones’ Twitter exit (although as she says in the video below, she didn’t really leave) after facing a litany of online abusers, especially since the release of “Ghostbusters” in the USA last week. Countless Twitter users hurled racist and sexist comments at Jones, apparently inspired by one Milo Yiannopoulos, a tech editor at the conservative website Breitbart, whose Twitter handle is @Nero, maybe, or maybe not (I can only assume) a name he took because he feels some connection to the Roman emperor, Nero, whose reign was said to be tyrannical, debaucherous, murderous, killed his own mother, persecuted Christians, and is rumored to have “fiddled while Rome burned.”
Again, assuming that Nero was the influence for Yiannopoulos’ Twitter handle.
Soon after Jones exposed her Twitter abusers, the news media picked up on the story, and on Monday evening, Jones shared this message (a sort of final message) on Twitter, seemingly exasperated: “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart… All this cause I did a movie.”
It all certainly got Twitter’s attention, and the company soon released a statement: “People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”
Yiannopoulos, said to be one of the most egregious and consistent offenders of Twitter’s terms of service, was effectively dismissed and banned from Twitter.
Twitter also said that the company plans to get tougher on abusers, with this being the first step in that direction.
Jones is back on Twitter, and, last night, appeared on “Late Night” with Seth Meyers, during which she of course talked about the entire experience, stating that the insults didn’t hurt her, because she’s sadly become used to them, given how often this has happened; instead, what bothered her most was Twitter’s slow response to it all. “When I approached Facebook, they were on it,” Jones said, adding, “It’s like, that’s my favorite restaurant,” giving an example of how she sees Twitter in this instance, “I love the food there. Three people just got shot in front of me. Y’all need to get some security!”
Watch the interview below: