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Rose McGowan's Twitter account gets 'temporarily locked'

After a series of tweets about the sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the actress takes to Instagram to protest her account's "suspension."

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Rose McGowan is at least temporarily off Twitter.  

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Twitter on Thursday gave actress Rose McGowan a timeout amid an uproar over alleged sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood.

In an Instagram post early in the day, McGowan said, "Twitter has suspended me. There are powerful forces at work."

The actress, best known for her role on the supernatural drama series "Charmed," had spent the last few days tweeting about allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. She also posted a screenshot of a message from Twitter stating that her account would have some of its features limited for violating Twitter's rules. 

But a person familiar with the matter told CNET early Thursday that McGowan's Twitter account was "temporarily locked," not suspended.

Later on Thursday, Twitter tweeted about the matter, explaining that McGowan's account had been locked because one of her tweets included a private phone number, which violated the company's terms of service.

The tweet has been removed and McGowan's account was unlocked. Twitter stated it would be clearer about its policies in the future. A representative for McGowan said the actress was not available for comment.

McGowan is one of a number of actresses who went public in an Oct. 5 New York Times story that first brought to light sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein. A New Yorker story this week has also alleged sexual assault. Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex but has said he's getting counseling. 

Twitter has frequently come under fire for not effectively dealing with harassment on its social network. The company says it holds all individuals to the same rules, but some Twitter users have voiced concerns that US President Donald Trump gets a free pass. Twitter said in July that it has clamped down on 10 times as many abusive tweeters as it had a year earlier, but Thursday's incident suggested that the company's approach may not be clear to everyone.

The locking of McGowan's account came soon after the actress tweeted foul language to actor Ben Affleck and accused him of lying about his knowledge of Weinstein's sexual misconduct.

Account locking, or limiting, is a feature that's part of Twitter's efforts to reduce abusive behavior on the social media platform. The company outlined its account-limiting process in a blog post in March, which described a "pattern of abusive behavior" as a violation of its rules.

While locked accounts are still accessible to other users, suspended accounts are typically not, even though they still exist on Twitter servers. If you try to view a suspended profile, you'll see a notice explaining that the account has been suspended.

On Thursday afternoon, McGowan sent five tweets directed at Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, including one is which she said she'd told the "head of your studio" that Weinstein had sexually assaulted her. She also called on Bezos "to stop funding rapists, alleged pedos and sexual harassers," adding that "I love @amazon but there is rot in Hollywood." McGowan did not name the studio head, but Roy Price was the chief of Amazon Studios until Thursday.

"Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately," an Amazon spokesperson said. "We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co." 

Originally published Oct. 12 at 6:03 a.m. PT.
Updated at 9:15 a.m. PT: Added Twitter's response and noted that McGowan's account had been unlocked.
Updated at 1:54 p.m. PT: Added information about McGowan's tweets at Amazon's Jeff Bezos.
Updated Oct. 13 at 2:45 a.m. PT: Added statement from Amazon spokesperson.

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