Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The troubles of Twitter


Matthew Steeples follows up on Jeremy Clarkson’s lament on the decline of Twitter and suggests the site could finally be on the wane


Yesterday, Jeremy Clarkson used his weekly column in The Sunday Times to bemoan what the online social networking service Twitter has become after being targeted by trolls over an article about the transgender issue. He rightly raised the issue of what the platform has become and opened up the debate about its ongoing relevance.


The troubles of Twitter - Jeremy Clarkson is the latest individual to suffer a backlash of abuse from Twitter trolls
The troubles of Twitter – Jeremy Clarkson is the latest individual to suffer a backlash of abuse from Twitter trolls
The troubles of Twitter - Jeremy Clarkson is the latest individual to suffer a backlash of abuse from Twitter trolls
Twitter has become a place dominated by lunatics sharing fanatical views


Initially, when Twitter was founded in 2006, I was fervent in my refusal to join but eventually I tried out the service in July 2011. I became an immediate addict and now have nearly 25,000 followers across two accounts (@M_Steeples and @SteepleTimes). Though nowhere near in the league of Clarkson’s (@JeremyClarkson) legion of 5,390,000 followers, this medium has exposed me not only to a merriment of wonders – ranging from the highly amusing fake Goldman Sachs elevator tweets (@gselevator) to dialogues with lovers of country house architecture (@thecountryseat) – but also to some of the looniest nutjobs I’ve ever encountered.


Aside from a “turbo ligger” named Sandra Shevey (@sandrashevey), who bizarrely references me as a member of the CIA on an almost daily basis, I’ve been targeted by members of the BNP and EDL with death threats and been reported to the police on an almost weekly basis by a likely invented individual who goes by the name of Lizzie Cornish (@lizziecornish). She holds the belief that the jailed paedophile Rolf Harris is the victim of a “shocking miscarriage of justice” and is “also RAGING over Greedy, Psychopathic, De-Sensitized Humans, ruining Mother Earth”. Putting it mildly, the only word that springs to mind to describe her and those of her like is “deranged”.


The troubles of Twitter - Jeremy Clarkson is the latest individual to suffer a backlash of abuse from Twitter trolls
An example of the kind of abuse I receive on Twitter
The troubles of Twitter - Jeremy Clarkson is the latest individual to suffer a backlash of abuse from Twitter trolls
Another particular pleasant set of comments


In terms of other unpleasant individuals, I am honoured to have been blocked by the pretentious title droppers Sir Christopher and Lady Meyer (@SirSocks and @LadyLilo2 – they didn’t like my having participated with the efforts of The Telegraph to expose the antics of a “charity” they run), Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott – a woman incapable of debate) and food blogger Jack Monroe (@MxJackMonrie – a ranting former woman and one-time lesbian who now classifies her gender as “X”).


Of them, Monroe, whose expletive fuelled rant against me was caused by my having supported Jamie Oliver’s fantastic campaign to encourage the poor to eat more healthily, was by far the most ridiculous and Clarkson’s spat with the transgender community is certainly comparable.


Having said “that in the olden days I used to find the whole transgender issue funny or annoying” and remarked that “it must be awful to be trapped inside the wrong sort of body”, Clarkson was “carpet-bombed” on Twitter. He found it “weird” and now concludes that the social network “these days sounds like a sixth-form common room after the headmaster has announced the guest speaker at tomorrow’s assembly will be Katie Hopkins”. Sadly he is right and one is left asking: “Is Twitter now simply the playground of the nutters who used to frequent the Mail Online’s reader comments sections?”



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    1. The clue is in the name, I always thought that anyone leading such a vacuous life that they feel the need to “tweet” all day must be a “twit”.

    2. Storm in a tea cup, the comparison of a fart to thunder. Avoid writing about transgender issues, Jeremy, leave that to little John and the mail. The trolls are passive-aggressive regarding transgender issues. Twitter is safe when you only have 2 followers.


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