7 notable people who were trolled off Twitter

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Leslie Jones ain’t afraid of no trolls.
Image: Getty Images

One of Twitter’s most famous trolls, Milo Yiannopoulos, bit the dust this week when Twitter permanently suspended his account.

The conservative pundit and Breitbart editor, known for railing against “political correctness” and feminism, lost his account in the wake of racist abuse directed at Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones by several Twitter trolls.

That abuse, much of it sparked by Yiannopoulos’ negative commentary on the Ghostbusters movie, forced Jones off the site for the time being and brought renewed attention to a push to ban Yiannopoulous.

They’re not the first pair to leave Twitter because of abuse.

‘Girls’ creator Lena Dunham is the founder of ‘Lenny Letter.’

Image: Sipa via AP Images

Lena Dunham

After growing sick of the misogyny and hateful comments directed her way online, Lena Dunham hired someone to run her Twitter account for her.

She’s still on the site but just barely.

“It really, truly wasn’t a safe space for me,” she said on the Re/code podcast in September.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the response to an Instagram photo where she was wearing men’s underwear.

“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,” Dunham said. “That’s verbal abuse. Those aren’t words that should be directed at you ever.”

Dunham still runs her own Instagram account, though.

Iggy Azalea

A tabloid photo led Iggy Azalea to quit social media in February.

The Australian rapper came back from vacation to see she was being body-shamed online for an unflattering beach photo.

After that incident, she passed the responsibility on to her management team with some strong words about life online.

Julieanne Smolinski

Julieanne Smolinski, or @boobsradley, quit Twitter for a period in May. The journalist and TV writer for shows including Grace and Frankie has 175,000 followers, but stopped tweeting when the harassment became too much.

“Im quitting Twitter for a specific, practical reason: Because I keep getting bothered by assholes and perverts and Twitter doesnt seem willing or able to do anything about it,” Smolinski wrote for New York magazine. “Im quitting Twitter the way you quit your favorite restaurant when it suffers an E. colioutbreak.”

Blocking users didn’t solve the problem, Smolinski said. She’s since returned to Twitter to a degree, but is still vocal about Twitter’s need to address hate speech among users.

Zelda Williams

After the death of her father, Robin Williams, in 2014, Zelda Williams was inundated with cruel, doctored photos of the actor. She quit Twitter and Instagram to avoid the harassment “for a good long time, maybe forever.”

She eventually returned to social media, and two years later, her accounts are active again.

Jonathan Weisman

New York Times editor Jonathan Weisman explained why he was leaving the network in a blog post for his newspaper.

“I am awaiting some sign from Twitter that it cares whether its platform is becoming a cesspit of hate. Until then, sayonara,” he wrote.

Weisman was among many journalists to receive anti-Semitic messages this campaign season.

Dana Schwartz, a New York Observer writer who wrote an open letter to her boss and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner about anti-Semitism among Trump supporters, also received a flurry of abuse, as did Julia Ioffe, a journalist who profiled Melania Trump for GQ.

Weisman is one of the only journalists to have so far, at least permanently left the site because of messages filled with Nazi iconography and hate speech. He announced his departure June 8, and since then has tweeted just once to comment on online harassment.

Kelly Evans

CNBC anchor Kelly Evans quit Twitter, and nearly all social media, on Tuesday.

Her colleague Carl Quintanilla shared the news on his own Twitter, linking to her now deactivated account.

Kelly said the decision was “only 1/2 Twitter’s fault,” Quintanilla posted, with the rest attributed to her own desire for a social-free lifestyle.

Her departure came in the wake of increased discussion of Twitter’s lackluster response to harassment of its users.

Demi Lovato performs at Wango Tango at StubHub Center on Saturday, May 14, 2016, in Carson, Calif.

Image: Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Demi Lovato (for 24 hours)

Demi Lovato ran into some trouble with trolls for a slightly less serious reason.

The singer called Mariah Carey “nasty” for her famous “I don’t know her” meme.

After getting backlash for her comments, Lovato left both Twitter and Instagram with the announcement, “Damn I gotta quit sayin st. Bye Twitter.”

But 24 hours later, she was back.

UPDATE: July 20, 2016, 4:20 p.m. EDT This story was updated to include the departure from Twitter of CNBC anchor Kelly Evans.

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