Celebs force Twitter to bust racist trolls after Leslie Jones controversy

twitter leslie jones trolls ghostbusters
Twitter has swooped in to tackle its troll problem in the wake of a celeb-endorsed campaign to support Leslie Jones.

The Ghostbusters star and Saturday Night Live comedienne tweeted on Monday that she was (again) being sent racist and misogynist messages. Jones, who clearly sounded distressed, also retweeted some of the posts in question over the course of a series of tweets that saw her urge Twitter to take action. Finally, she announced that she was “taking a break” from the platform due to “all the hatred.”

Ghostbusters director Paul Feig picked up on Jones’ tweets, and shared his own post in support of the star. “Leslie Jones is one of the greatest people I know. Any personal attacks against her are attacks against us all,” said Feig in his tweet. The message also included the hashtag “#LoveForLeslieJ,” which originates from Twitter user @MarissaRei1.

Following Feig’s tweet, numerous celebrities shared their own messages of support for Jones, using the same hashtag. Many of the posts also criticized Twitter’s silence on the matter, and called on the social network to take a stand on the issue. Among those that tweeted messages of encouragement were Oscar-winning actor Brie Larson, Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu, James Corden, Amy Schumer, John Boyega, and Olivia Munn. Check out a selection of the tweets below.

Twitter’s uncharacteristically rapid response was kicked off by the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey, who replied to one of Jones’ tweets on Monday by asking her to send him a direct message. Twitter has now released a statement in which it claims that it has “taken action on many of the accounts” that were reported by Jones, and others.

“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.”

The swift crackdown on trolls by Twitter shows just how much influence celebrities wield on the platform. Seeing as the social network is facing its fair share of troubles regarding growth, a celebrity exodus would be a major blow to the company.

Twitter undoubtedly had to take action against the unacceptable racism directed at Jones, but it begs the question; what about Twitter’s inaction in regards to its general user base that has long been the target of abuse? Will Twitter respond as quickly for those not as lucky to have celebrity connections? Unfortunately, a number of recent unresolved cases of Twitter abuse against journalists demonstrate that the rest of us simply have no choice but to speak for ourselves.

Computing

The Facebook dating service will be free of charge and free of ads

Facebook is getting into the dating game. While the feature was one of the surprises from this year's F8, new details suggest what the feature may entail, including a few screenshots from a computer programmer.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Two high-end phones clash

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is here and it's a big, beautiful beast of a smartphone. But today's market is demanding -- does the Note 9 measure up to other flagships? We pitted it against the Huawei P20 Pro to find out.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Music

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, each suited for a different occasion.
Social Media

Three million people quit Snapchat after the redesign

After a million users signed petitions to get the old Snapchat back, the network's user count is showing the early results of the changes with a three-million-user drop in daily active users.
Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.
Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.
Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.