While some people are boycotting Twitter Friday in response to Rose McGowan’s suspension using the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter, others are using the hashtag #WOCAffirmation to instead elevate the voices of women of color.
The hashtag was created by Twitter user and activist April Reign as some users prepared to log off Twitter late Thursday night, protesting what they say is Twitter’s dismal response to abuse of women on its platform.
Reign instead Tweeted that she would use her platform to amplify women of color on Twitter, creating the hashtag #WOCAffirmation.
What I would like to do is amplify the WOC #OnHere who are doing the work. I don't know if that is threads or convos or businesses or what.— April (@ReignOfApril) October 13, 2017
The hashtag I'll be using is #WOCAffirmation. Shout out sistas that are doing the damn thing. Promote them. Hit me so I can RT. Lift us up.— April (@ReignOfApril) October 13, 2017
Reign, a former lawyer who currently resides in D.C., is known for starting the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, where she criticized the lack of diversity in the 2015 Oscar nomination list.
Reign wasn’t the only one who took issue with #WomenBoycottTwitter. Director Ava DuVernay and writer Roxane Gay both questioned the hashtag on Twitter.
DuVernay wrote that women of color haven't received the same support and outrage on Twitter while Gay echoed similar sentiments.
Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of #WomenBoycottTwitter for women of color who haven't received support on similar issues.— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 13, 2017
Now people want to boycott twitter? Always interesting where and for whom people draw the line.— roxane gay (@rgay) October 13, 2017
Meanwhile, Reign’s hashtag has taken off, inspiring Tweets from users who are using it to showcase their own artwork, writing, and other projects.
CNN’s Tanzina Vega used it to discuss the book she’s writing.
I'm a WOC journalist writing "Uppity" a book about WOC in the US, and hoping to shine light on the obstacles we face. #WOCAffirmation— Tanzina Vega (@tanzinavega) October 13, 2017
McGowan’s account has since been reinstated. Twitter says that one of McGowan’s tweets included a personal cell phone number, violating their terms and conditions. Once the Tweet was deleted, McGowan’s account was unlocked.