On December 10, 2017, @jacksoncameron tweeted: “I’m so glad to hear @the_donald is taking a stand against sexual assault.
If they did, the US would be a much safer place.”
On December 13, 2017 the @thedonald tweeted: “@jennybennett_craig I don’t think I have to say it, but I’m sorry if you feel like being raped in this country.
#rapeculture” On December 20, 2017 @thetrumps_tweeted: “Thank you for asking.
I just want to say this.
#rapingculture is a problem.
This is not a crime.
Rape culture is a social issue.
We’re trying to make sure everyone has a safe place to call home.
It’s not a matter of being a good feminist or an activist.”
On January 4, 2018, @thetweet_trump tweeted: I’m so sorry for the tweets and messages.
I know we have a problem with rape culture, and that there are people who want to hurt women, but you should be proud to say that rape culture exists, that it’s wrong, and to call out the evil that it is.
Rape is a crime, and I have a message for them: Stop.
I will never stop fighting for the lives and safety of all women.
The hashtag #rapistgate, which has become a trending topic on Twitter, has become an important rallying point for victims and advocates of sexual assault and rape culture.
The following day, on January 8, 2018 @thetrump tweeted the following: If a young girl has a really tough time coming forward to report a sexual assault, that’s a problem, not a victim-blaming.
You should be able to report it.
#RapeCrisis More than 1,100 women have signed a Change.org petition asking Twitter to remove the #rapecrisis hashtag.
Trump supporters, however, argue that they have the right to use the hashtag to voice their views, regardless of whether or not it is safe.
“It’s not really a crime to say ‘rape,’ but it is a criminal offense to use a hashtag like that to publicly endorse the rape culture of the country,” said Sarah Gellhorn, executive director of the Women’s Law Project.
Twitter responded by issuing a statement in response to the #RampantRape hashtag: “As a platform for news and information, Twitter is committed to a safe and supportive environment for users.
We do not condone harassment or bullying, and we take any reports of harassment and abuse very seriously.
The #RrapistGate hashtag is not an endorsement of or an endorsement by Twitter of the opinions expressed by the individual who posted it.
We have also removed several accounts associated with it.”
In addition, Twitter announced in December that it would be expanding the company’s Safe Spaces initiative to include harassment and hate speech.