Tag Archives: british press

A respectful statement on Twitter, trolling and the British commentariat

Guten Morgen, I’m in Berlin today on tour with my book Meat Market, which is significant because it means I’m not at the Editorial Intelligence UK Comment Awards this morning. I’m excited to say that I was nominated and won in the category ‘Twitter Public Personality’. I’m still not sure quite what that means, but it’s going on the virtual shelf alongside GCSE Superboffin 2002 and Sack Race 1998. Thank you to everyone who voted.

Here’s the little speech that was read out in my absence:

I’m really sorry I can’t be here in person to accept this award, and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me, as well as Editorial Intelligence for nominating me. Social media has been an energising and empowering force for the British commentariat, rearranging some of the old hierarchies and allowing young people and those outside the mainstream press to amplify voices that would otherwise go unheard. Unfortunately, over the past two years social media has also become an increasingly hostile place for women writers and journalists, as well as for writers and thinkers of colour and of different faiths. I know of a number of talented women writers who have withdrawn from the arena of public debate in Britain because of the sheer scale and viciousness of sexist bullying that has come to poison the arena of political debate in this country, particularly online. I would like to use this opportunity to call upon all of the editors, journalists and commentators in this room to take an active stand against sexist trolling and hate speech in your publications and on Twitter. Call it out whenever you see it and refuse to host it on your websites, because it demeans and cheapens all of us who feel proud to call ourselves members of the British press. Thank you.