Leslie Jones Talks Online Abuse: 'Hate Speech and Freedom of Speech Are Two Different Things'

After being attacked by racist misogynists on Twitter earlier this week, Leslie Jones—out promoting the new Ghostbusters—sat down with Seth Meyers to talk about the abuse she endured and what she hopes will come of it.


“What’s scary about the whole thing is that the insults didn’t hurt me,” Jones, who has returned to the platform (though says she never technically left), explained. “Unfortunately, I’m used to the insults, but what scared me was the injustice of a gang of people jumping against you for such a sick cause.”

She added, “Everybody has an opinion and it all comes at you at one time—and they really believe in what they believe in—and it’s so mean. It’s so gross and mean.”

Jones also addressed Twitter’s notoriously slow and ineffective approach to combating harassment.

“When I approached Facebook, they was on it,” she said. “Twitter? I was on them...It’s like, that’s my favorite restaurant. I love the food there. Three people just shot in front of me. Y’all need to get some security.”

Jones recently met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and says that he was receptive and helpful in getting many of the offending accounts banned, but as Meyers pointed out, the social media network needs to make the reformation of their weak harassment policy a bigger priority to protect users that don’t have Jones’ access and platform.

As a response to critics who say the bannings are an assault on freedom of speech, Jones closed out the segment saying, “Hate speech and freedom of speech? Two different things.”


Also, Twitter is a private company, which is to say that the right to freedom of speech does not exist within it.

Managing Editor, Jezebel



Funny how some people want to protect speech when it's racist. It was horrible how organized the attack was on Leslie. How do regular people handle it?