Twitter still struggling to enforce civility, UO instructor says

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On Oct. 13, thousands of Twitter users showed solidarity with actress Rose McGowan after she was temporarily suspended from the platform for posting a private phone number, another example of the challenges the social media channel faces as it tries to maintain civility, a UO instructor says.

McGowan had been tweeting about sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood after allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein were revealed. The movement created the hashtag #womenboycotttwitter, which was tweeted nearly 240,000 times to protest against silencing women’s voices, especially those who have been harassed on the social media platform itself.

Kelli Matthews, senior instructor of public relations at the University of Oregon, told the Los Angeles Times that Twitter might see a downtick in usage during the boycott, but no larger effects on the company are likely because the boycott is only for one day.

“Twitter’s really struggling with how to maintain a civil place for people to have conversations and build community,” Matthews said. “If it doesn’t figure that out, I don’t think this will be the last time.”

Kelli Matthews is a senior instructor of public relations at the UO. She is also the founder and managing director of Verve Northwest Communications. Matthews received her Master of Arts in communication and society from the University of Oregon in 2004.