First and foremost, everyone is enthused about Twitter; it will be the future of information, social interactions, and communication altogether. Nevertheless, it suddenly becomes hazardous; in fact, it is horrifying. Twitter may down bring celebrities, much like Saddam Hussein’s sculptures.
For Jan Moir, the effects of Twitter could not be more evident. If you have come across the celebrity gossip page of tabloid The Daily Mail, you know Jan Moir is in the headlines for writing an unthinkingly disturbing article about a boy-band artist’s demise. The group was called the Boyzone, and the singer is Stephen Gately.
Gately has revealed he was gay a few months prior to his death. The singer passed on mysteriously while on holiday in Spain.
In her article, Jan Moir suggested the artist and his boyfriend had taken company into their room on the eventful night. As the writer felt this gruesome and evidently immoral ‘lifestyle’ had cause the untimely death.
In her defense, Moir stated it was never her purpose to cause offense with her remarks, and that the objective of the post was that “his demise poses many unresolved issues,” which “I wonder how many of the individuals criticizing have completely read.”
Critics felt the descriptions was simple-minded and hateful because, she was referring to the artist’s homosexuality.
Thousands of Twitter users who followed the actor read the article and tweeted about it. A campaign was formed to lodge protests with the British Press Complaints Commission. Because of the large reader base on Twitter, more people read the tweets with over 20,000 people sending complaints to the commission in two days.
In the following days, various sponsors pulled their adverts including Marks and Spencer, BT, and Twitter, from the page where the initial article had been posted. These actions highlight the powerful role played by Twitter as a social interaction platform.