Since I wrote that fateful tweet on Monday, my life hasn’t been the same. The Twitter mob have hounded me. I, a lowly columnist being paid real money to sneer at other people, am being sneered at by other people. (I mean, not people who work for newspapers and go to nice parties, but other people. People whose children don’t go to expensive schools. People who live outside zone 1. You know, nobodies. Plebs. Nothings. Those people who smell and smoke and shop at Argos. Scum.)
All I said was the entirely innocent and not provocative-at-all comment “Cuh, that person who just died was a cunt and everyone who likes them is a piece of shit, oh, and your mum smells”. And then it went mad. People started being mean to me. Me! Just for being a person with a strong opinion and not being afraid to speak their mind, frequently, repetitively, until someone takes the bait.
That’s what you get nowadays in the unpleasant world of so-called social so-called media. The Twitterverse don’t care who you are, they’re out to get you. The mob were out to get me, I can tell you! Not at first, of course, because no one saw my tweets and my column is shunted behind a paywall so that no-one can read it. But once I’d said the same thing about four thousand times, using capital letters, and started insulting people who’d dared to disagree, things got going. At last, they were out to get me.
My week of hell. Unlike me, whose words are clever and good, these people often swore or said bad things. Some of them called me names, particularly when I told them they were dirty unemployed scumbags who should have been drowned at birth, for some reason, and then I found the phone started ringing and I was being invited as an edgy, controversial alternative voice on discussion programmes, and then the hell got even worse. I had to go on these programmes and say really dislikeable things about people who didn’t have newspaper columns – I literally had no choice – and then the Twitter Mob got even more annoyed with me, and I started being invited onto more discussion programmes, and so on, and so on. You can imagine how terrible that was for me.
I almost didn’t write this column for the usual fee, such was my browbeating at the hands of the sick and twisted lowlifes who inhabit Twitter and don’t have Blue Ticks like me.
I think what the Twitter Mob and their awful attacks on decent, nice people like me exposes is the way in which our society has become coarser and less open to free speech. In my book I Hate People, They’re All Shit, Especially You, I explored this idea for a large advance and, despite disappointing sales, I kept being invited onto Radio 4. And people kept hating me. I suppose it’s the politics of envy.
Beware the Twitter Mob. One minute you’re writing something which is completely accidentally really annoying to lots of people, and the next you’re being told by those people that they don’t like what you’ve written! Hell, I tell you. Hell.