Justice

Lena Dunham No Longer Manages Her Twitter Account

"Girls" creator Lena Dunham no longer manages her Twitter page due to relentless abuse from other users.

In a podcast interview with the podcast Re/code Decode, Dunham discussed her new online newsletter Lenny and why mean tweets from other Twitter users ultimately led her to hire someone else to run her Twitter profile. Though she still finds it important to maintain a Twitter account, she no longer knows her password, and she doesn't want anything to do with the platform as long as people send aggression her way.

Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Dunham said that she and fellow Lenny founder Jenni Konner really enjoy the web but do not necessarily appreciate everything about interacting on social media.

"We both love communicating with each other on the internet, we love the spaces it has carved out but we've both had pretty wounding experiences," Dunham said. "I don't look at Twitter anymore. I tweet, but I do it through someone else. 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."

Dunham, who has posed nude several times on her show "Girls," said she has been body shamed a lot on social media and was widely criticized after posting an Instagram image of herself wearing underwear:

 

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

"Even if you think, like, 'Oh I can read, like, 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death and kind of, like, laugh and move on,' that's verbal abuse," she continued. "Those aren't words that should be directed at you ever. And so, for me personally, it was safer to stop [using Twitter]."

Dunham and Konner added that they do not read Gawker anymore because they believe it's a toxic publication.

"I used to read Gawker and Jezebel in college and be like, 'I can’t wait to get to New York where my people will be to welcome me,'" she said. "And it’s like, it’s literally, if I read it, it’s like going back to a husband who beat me in the face — it just doesn’t make any sense."

Dunham's decision comes at a time when many women endure brutal harassment from men online. In 2014, journalist Amanda Hess published an unsettling essay about some of the awful things women are subjected to online, including rape threats, death threats, body shaming, and racial slurs. Hess, who has written extensively about women's issues and sex before, divulged some horrifying tweet mentions she received from a Twitter user named headlessfemalepig:

“I am 36 years old, I did 12 years for ‘manslaughter’, I killed a woman, like you, who decided to make fun of guys cocks. Happy to say we live in the same state. Im looking you up, and when I find you, im going to rape you and remove your head. You are going to die and I am the one who is going to kill you. I promise you this.”

Hess was no stranger to internet abuse when she received these scary messages. She also knows this happens all the time to other females on the web.

"None of this makes me exceptional," she wrote. "It just makes me a woman with an Internet connection."