Since my last critique of Twitpop culture went so well, I’ve decided to write yet another.
A perfect opportunity arose for me to go vigilante on the various Twitter trolls. Trolls generally habituate behind (what they think is) an anonymous mask - better known as a smartphone or computer monitor.
First came the news of Stella Creasy, whose shocking trolls threatened to rape her - but all she did was join journalist Caroline Criado-Perez to ask for Jane Austen to be put on the front of our tenners.
Creasy retweeted the abuse and included her local police constabulary’s account, and a man has now been arrested in connection with the Twitter threats.
Trolling was apparent on the same day in less widely reported way with tweets which came as a bit of a shock. Well they didn’t really. It was a set of one of the legions of fans that dedicate their lives to pop singers/bands.
No, it wasn’t the envious Beliebers angrily abusing a girl because they were jealous some of Justin’s spit ricocheted onto her face.
It was, in fact, Directioners, fan(atic)s of One Direction.
GQ, the lifestyle magazine, recently unveiled the One Direction lads as their cover photos for the September issue. A particular line on the Harry Styles cover (note: a notorious befriender of women up to twice his age) reads: “He's up all night to get lucky.”
They actually wrote a piece on the negative reaction from some fans and pasted some of the, frankly, quite terrifying tweets. Please excuse the imminent use of asterisks; it’s for the safety of your children’s innocence (unless your child is a Directioner).
“HARRYS COVER SAYS HE UP ALL NIGHT TO GET LUCKY. @BritishGQ YOURE MAKING HIM SOUND LIKE A WHORE. HES NOT A F*****G WHORE YOU STUPID C***S.”
The above is a message from @BanginngNiall_. Banging Niall, is that?
Irony is fun.
Other threats towards GQ staff included include punching, stabbing, mutilation, burning, bleaching, bombing, testicle-pounding and murder.
The jealousy that surrounds these people which then forces them to lash out is more than bizarre. It would seem that the majority of them are upset because GQ hinted at Harry Styles’s promiscuity, and their anger is directly correlated with the fact that the band aren’t being promiscuous with the perpetrating trolls. And yet there are countless accounts like @Fxkinlouis.
The poor folks at GQ, who in other tweets were declared as not having a “real job”, are now at threat of crazed Directioners. And Twitter doesn't seem to have actually done anything in response. Nor have the band members commented on their fans' aggressive behaviour.
So, One Direction, perhaps you could politely ask your fans not to threaten people you work with?
And Twitter, when you start banning these people, they will stop harassing and threatening. The coppers can’t arrest everyone in possession of a One Direction album… unfortunately.