The Internet Is Evil: Leslie Jones Quits Twitter After Being Cyberbullied

The Internet Is Evil: Leslie Jones Quits Twitter After Being Cyberbullied

After enduring months of racist and sexist responses to the Ghostbusters remake, the black comedian announced that she has finally had enough

After enduring months of racist and sexist responses to the Ghostbusters remake, the black comedian announced that she has finally had enough

Text: William Defebaugh

The ladies of this summer's Ghostbusters reboot have been the victim of Internet abuse ever since it was announced that the remake would feature all female leads, shedding an ugly light on the level of sexism that still pervades this country. But none of the film's stars have faced as much cyberbullying as comedian Leslie Jones, who finally quit Twitter last night after flurries of racist and sexist messages following the movie's release this weekend.

Jones has one of the film's breakout performances, which should come as a surprise to no one: along with her Ghostbusters co-star Kate McKinnon, she is one of the female comedians responsible for breathing life back into Saturday Night Live these past few seasons. In a show of support, the film's director, Paul Feig, came to Jones' defense on Twitter, even creating a hashtag: #LoveforLeslieJ.

Jones engaged in exhaustive online battles with her harassers—who even went so far as to make fake Leslie Jones accounts, which they used to tweet their own racist commentary—the most prominent of them being conservative GamerGate advocate Milo Yiannopoulos, whom Twitter has since banned in an effort to crack down on bullying. Yiannopoulous, who operated under the handle @Nero, responded to the banishment in an interview on Tuesday saying, "This is the beginning of the end of Twitter. Some people are going to find this perfectly acceptable,” he said. “Anyone who believes in free speech or is a conservative certainly will not.”

In a statement, Twitter stood firm, insisting that “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.”

Understandably, it was not enough to keep Jones from leaving her post, no longer willing to tolerate the injustice. As the comedian herself said, "all [she] did was make a movie." Let her story be a harrowing reminder that in America in 2016, no one, and no where, is safe from sexism and racism—not even Hollywood.

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