Leslie Jones’ website hacked in apparent racist cyberattack

25 Aug 2016

Ghostbusters star and comedian Leslie Jones has found herself on the end of a seemingly racially-motivated cyberattack that resulted in her website being hacked and the homepage reportedly being replaced with private photos of the star.

Since starring in the reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, Leslie Jones has had to deal with a torrent of racist and misogynistic abuse online, which resulted in her leaving Twitter for a brief period.

However, since her return to Twitter earlier this month, the personal attacks have continued online, and have now culminated with her personal website being hacked, with the posting of what appeared to be intimate photos of the actor on the homepage.

According to TMZ, unconfirmed personal information for Jones, including her driver’s licence and home address, were also posted online, along with a YouTube video about the famous gorilla, Harambe.

In response to this cyberattack, the website has now been taken offline and, at the time of writing, Jones has not issued a statement on this latest attack.

The director of Ghostbusters, Paul Feig, has taken to Twitter to criticise those who orchestrated the cyberattack against Jones’ website, describing it as an “absolute outrage”.

Responding to previous abuse

When Jones took the decision to temporarily leave Twitter in July, she was clearly frustrated by the abuse being aimed at her, admitting that she was trying to “figure out what human means”, before stating she was leaving Twitter.

At that time, Twitter’s response to the torrent of abuse against the actor was to ban a number of accounts orchestrating the attacks.

The social network also took the decision to issue a lifetime ban against the high-profile conservative Milo Yiannopoulos over critical comments he made about Jones and her role in the Ghostbusters film.

In an interview with The Wrap, a lawyer specialising in the US’s First Amendment, Marc Randazza, went as far as to say that this attack would not have happened if Yiannopoulos was not banned from the site.

“There’s zero chance that this wasn’t a fan of Milo’s (Yiannopoulos),” he said. “Had Twitter not banned Milo Yiannopoulos, I bet it wouldn’t have happened.”

Leslie Jones poster image via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic