Twitter has reduced itself from a platform enjoyed by millions of users, including high profile celebrities, to a tacky version of Tumblr with a character limit and a very oblique code of conduct. It’s a place where special snowflakes are free to do more than simply whine about things that they don’t like, they’re also allowed to freely hurl abuse at people for any kind of slight which may offend their hyper-delicate sensibilities, so long as their abusive behaviour comes from the “right” side of the socio-political spectrum.
Stephen Fry, usually regarded as one of the sweetest and most kind natured comedians, is the latest high profile person to delete their Twitter account after a hoard of rabid and frothing-at-the-mouth social justice warriors took offense at a joke he made at the BAFTA Awards. However the butt of his joke, a close personal friend and award winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, wasn’t offended in the slightest. Fry joked “Only one of the greatest cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady.” No, I’m not joking. That is the obviously very problematic joke which had people so offended on MS Beavan’s behalf that had Twitter users virtually spitting vitriol at Fry all night. Even after tweeting a photo of Ms Beavan and himself, clarifying that they are close personal friends and that she was aware of the intention behind the joke and that she was not offended, that still wasn’t enough for the perpetually crying Twitter SJWs and their torrential downpour of angry tears. Ms Beavan even stated, to The Guardian who reached her for comment, that she was not offended and that they are indeed close personal friends but that she would prefer not talk any further about it because “If I talk about it it will just create more fuss.”
After engaging many of the unreasonably angry snowflakes in argument and tweeting “Will all you sanctimonious fuckers fuck the fuck off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet.” Fry decided to delete his Twitter account and posted a letter on his official website where he describes Twitter as a “room that had started to smell. Really quite bad.” He goes on to perfectly and eloquently summate, not just the Twitter users who had put him off of using Twitter, but all members of the Social Justice movement with this paragraph:
“To leave that metaphor, let us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. It doesn’t matter whether they think they’re defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists … the ghastliness is absolutely the same. It makes sensible people want to take an absolutely opposite point of view. I’ve heard people shriek their secularism in such a way as to make me want instantly to become an evangelical Christian.”
He finished his post with “But you’ve let the trolls and nasties win! If everyone did what you did, Stephen, the slab-faced dictators of tone and humor would have the place to themselves. Well, yes and they’re welcome to it. Perhaps then they’ll have nothing to smell but their own smell. So I don’t feel anything today other than massive relief, like a boulder rolling off my chest. I am free, free at last.”
I believe we will be seeing a lot more of this in greater frequency – people being driven away from using Twitter due to its ridiculously hypocritical, childish and abusive user base, the kinds who feel self righteous enough to abuse a comedian over his comedic wit, claiming it to be inappropriate and offensive whilst being extremely inappropriate and aggressively offensive themselves. Where people like this are not moderated, but encouraged. Remember kids – abuse and threats are not okay, unless the “right” people are abusing and threatening the “wrong” people.