Well this has been an instructive few hours on Twitter. Most of you probably know I use Twitter to keep in touch with what is happening in the world and express my own views and/or support for others.
Yesterday I Tweeted a mild message of support for a moderate Labour MP I admire in response to a Tweet she had put out, while also suggesting I spoke for “almost all” of her followers.
The hate mail arrived almost immediately and has continued since. 24 hours later. These Tweets are apparently interlinked, with one Tweet being retweeted from one account to another and back again.
Apparently I do not speak for “almost all”. I made that up. My other failings are that I am unlikely to be affected by austerity. (True.) Which by implication I support. (Untrue.) I am a financial journalist. (True.) I am by implication a supporter of capitalism at its worse. (Untrue.)
And so on, with increasing hatred and rancour. I thought at first I had misspoken and apologised for any accidental offence caused. To such people, in full flood, apologies for accidental offence are irrelevant.
It is quite disturbing. These people do not know where I live and have little idea who I am. Still, you worry about stirring up such feelings.
The stuff is still coming in, even if I have indicated I will not be responding. An investigation of the accounts involved suggests the people involved are at the Corbyn end of the political spectrum, to put it as tactfully as I can.
My own experience is quite mild – as one friend points out, no mention of the C word. God alone knows what that poor MP, and others, have to go through each day, though.