Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones leaves Twitter after being bombarded with shocking racist abuse

The actress is calling for more control against hate speech on the social network

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Leslie Jones has been subjected to a torrent of abuse from racist Twitter users relating to her role in the Ghostbusters movie.

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The film had already been met with outrage from some quarters due to its all-female cast, prompting some to claim it was ruining their childhoods.

But in the latest development, things got much more nasty as trolls racially targeted Jones, who is black, specifically.

One of the most vitriolic of the tweets compared her to Harambe, the gorilla shot dead recently in a Cincinnati Zoo when a child entered its enclosure. And she was even the victim of fake tweets purporting to come from her and making their own bigoted remarks.

Jones responded by retweeting the abusive posts and telling one perpetrator that she was “reporting and exposing your racist ass”.

And she shut down people’s advice to ignore the abusers, saying she had a right to be offended and to react. 

Jones also called for Twitter to implement stronger guidelines in how it monitors and cracks down on hate speech.

In March, Jones said that she was considering quitting the social media platform, when she first began being targeted by trolls, but she was urged to stay by Paul Feig, who directed the film.

Last night, though, she apparently did decide to leave Twitter, with an emotional last Tweet saying: 

The #LoveForLeslieJ hashtag has been started in response to the racist attacks, and other celebrities offered their support, including Margaret Cho, Dan Savage, and Feig himself. So far, however, Twitter’s support team has not made a statement on the abuse Jones has faced.

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Twitter has a bad case history in terms of racist abuse. In 2014, Demos found that over a nine-day period in 2012 there were “approximately 10,000 uses per day of racist and ethnic slur terms”.