Activision Blizzard executive Frances Townsend, who prior to her time at the video game holding company infamously defended the US government’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ against enemy combatants in the War on Terror as a member of President George W. Bush’s administration, has deleted her Twitter account amidst the ongoing backlash facing the company for their alleged fostering of a ‘frat boy’ workplace culture rife with sexual harassment.

Source: C-Span Q&A with Frances Townsend (2008)

Related: Blizzard President J. Allen Brack Steps Down Amid Activision-Blizzard Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit

When attempting to access Townsend’s Twitter, users are greeted with a message that reads “This account doesn’t exist.”

Source: Frances Townsend Twitter

Shortly before her deletion on August 4th, Townsend had been on the receiving end of her own respective wave of backlash for downplaying the sexual harassment lawsuit in an internal email, dismissing it as presenting “a distorted and untrue picture of our company, including factually incorrect, old, and out of context stories.” 

Townsend even shared a recent article from The Atlantic discussing, in her words, “the problem with whistleblowing” just days after the lawsuit was made public.

Archive Link Source: Frances Townsend Twitter

The executive had also been blocking any user who criticized her, many of whom were current or former Activision Blizzard employees, such as World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Music Producer Charlotte Pyle.

Pyle claims she was was blocked after criticizing Townsend and her sharing of the anti-whistleblower article. She wrote about Townsend, “she is either ridiculously incompetent or perhaps this is an intimidation tactic.”

Archive Link Source: Charlotte Pyle Twitter

Former Overwatch and World of Warcraft: Legion software engineer Cher Scarlett, who incurred the wrath of Townsend’s block button after similarly declaring that the executive’s promotion of The Atlantic’s piece was decidedly “not it”:

Archive Link Source: Cher Scarlett Twitter

Blizzard test analyst Jessica Gonzalez was also blocked after she questioned, “WTF do you know about accountability, Fran?”

Archive Link Source: Jessica Gonzalez Twitter

Archive Link Source: Jessica Gonzalez Twitter

Related: Activision Blizzard Hit With Lawsuit Over Alleged “Frat Boy Workplace Culture”, Including On-The-Job Alcohol Use And Rampant Sexual Harassment Of Female Employees

Townsend, who was hired as Activision Blizzard’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer in March of this year, is perhaps best known for her previous role as the Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, during which time she infamously and regularly defended the administration’s use of ‘advanced interrogation techniques.’

“The United States does not torture,” claimed Townsend, in one such instance, to reporters in 2007. “Do we have a program? Yes we do. People who participate in that program are carefully trained with more than 250 hours of training. The average age of an interrogator is 43. They’re not just interrogators who are part of the team, they’re also subject matter experts and individuals who are there to monitor the health and psychological wellbeing of the detainee himself.”

Source: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (2019), Blizzard Entertainment

What do you make of Townsend’s deletion of her Twitter account? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi
    Associate Editor

    Spencer is the Associate Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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