Lena Dunham forced off Twitter by misogynistic trolls

The Girls creator says she was subjected to 'verbal violence' 

Heather Saul@heatheranne9
Wednesday 30 September 2015 13:48
Dunham says she has received abuse online
Dunham says she has received abuse online

Lena Dunham no longer posts her own tweets after receiving misogynistic abuse from internet trolls.

The Girls creator, who has almost three million followers on Twitter, now relies on another person to publish her posts.

Dunham described being bombarded by misogynistic comments after posting a photograph of herself in her boyfriend’s underwear on Instagram during a discussion on Re/Code Radio.

“It turned into the most rabid, disgusting comments about my body, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists for the afternoon,” she recalled.

Mary Beard confronted her trolls on Twitter 

The 29-year-old praised the approach taken by the classicist Mary Beard, who responded to trolls on Twitter and even met one for lunch to discuss what motivated them to send abusive tweets, but said she did not have the energy to do the same.

“I tweet, but I do it through someone else,” she explained. "I don't have any access to [my account]. I don’t even know my Twitter password, which may make me seem like I’m no longer a sort of genuine community user.

"I'm not involved in the Twitter community in the way that I used to be - I very rarely respond to people. I still like the format as just a way to express ideas and I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all, and so I didn’t want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really, truly wasn’t a safe space for me.

"I think that even if you think you can separate yourself from the verbal violence that is being directed at you, it creates some really cancerous stuff inside you, even if you think 'Oh I can read 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death, and laugh and move on', those aren't words that should be directed at you. For me, personally, it was safer to stop."

Dunham still posts on her Instagram page, which she described as a more positive space.

Dunham has set up the weekly online newsletter Lenny with Jenni Konner, the executive producer on Girls. Konner said they wanted to avoid the “snark” and criticism that underlines some feminist discourse. Lenny, Dunham added, does not accept comments in order to create a safer internet space for people visiting it and engaging with it.

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