- The comedian found herself singled out for a particularly egregious campaign of racially charged slurs, many of which she retweeted from her account
Comedian Leslie Jones, who stars in the new Ghostbusters movie, has become the latest victim in Twitter’s struggle to control abusive speech on its platform.
A 2014 study by the think tank Demos focusing on a nine-day period in November 2012 found “approximately 10,000 uses per day of racist and ethnic slur terms”, of which 500-2,000 were directed at individuals.
And the new Ghostbusters reboot has become a particular focal point for misogynist abuse because of its female cast, leading to an orchestrated online campaign to make the trailer the most disliked in YouTube history.
But following the film’s opening weekend, Jones found herself singled out for a particularly egregious campaign of racially charged slurs, many of which she retweeted from her account.
In a stream of tweets on Monday evening, Jones addressed the attacks directly. “It’s so sad, most of these comments sound like they are from ignorant children,” she said. “You have to hate yourself to put out that type of hate. I mean on my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out.”
“I don’t know how to feel. I’m numb. Actually numb. I see the words and pics and videos. Videos y’all. Meaning people took time to spew hate,” she continued. “I use to wonder why some celebs don’t have Twitter accts now I know. You can’t be nice and communicate with fans cause people crazy.”
“I’m more human and real than you fucking think.I work my ass off. I’m not different than any of you who has a dream to do what they love.”
Jones said that she was considering quitting the social media platform in March, when she first began being targeted by trolls, but she was entreated to stay by Paul Feig, who directed the film.
In a tweet, Paul Feig says: Don’t leave us, @Lesdoggg. You are a goddess & one of the warmest funniest forces of nature I know. Fuck the haters.https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/707188906207395841 …
On Monday, in response to the latest wave of abuse, Feig tweeted: “Leslie Jones is one of the greatest people I know. Any personal attacks against her are attacks against us all,” and encouraged people to tweet their support for Jones under the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ.
Twitter did not respond to a request from the Guardian for comment.