Lesbian Guardian writer Jack Monroe quits Twitter over abuse from fake UKIP troll
Out lesbian Guardian writer Jack Monroe has quit Twitter after receiving abuse from a fake Twitter account claiming to be a former UKIP candidate.
Monroe quit the microblogging platform after receiving “hate” and “vitriol”, which she said was “suffocating” her. She went on to say she thought Twitter was not “a safe place to be” because of abuse.
The Twitter account behind the abuse claimed to be of Alex Wood, a former UKIP election candidate, but has since been confirmed as fake. It targeted Monroe, as well as Owen Jones.
UKIP condemned the account, calling it “vile”, and acted quickly alongside the real Mr Wood to report the account to the police.
A UKIP spokesman told PinkNews that the tweets were “absolutely out of order”, saying despite differences of opinion with Jack Monroe, “nobody deserves to be treated like that”.
The abuse started after Monroe wrote a column in the Guardian praising Green Party leader Natalie Bennett after her appearance on the BBC Debate on Thursday, in which Monroe called UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s appearance on the debate a “circus act”.
The fake account wrote: “Your sick form of Lesbianism and militant queerism is destroying this country. Get out and give us Britain back! #VoteUKIP.”
It also added: “@MsJackMonroe I think you’re an absolute disgrace as well, Queers should all be sterilised. #VoteUKIP2015.”
In response, Monroe tweeted: “God it’s men like this that make me wish I wasn’t a lesbian. Be still my beating heart for the charm and intellect.”
She continued: “There’s been a lot of kindness and I’m very thankful but the hate/vitriol is suffocating and don’t feel this is a safe place to be. Sorry. x”
A later tweet, titled “final word” read: “Please do not retaliate to the trolls and abusers with abuse. Not in my name. Please, not in my name.
“Instead, if you believe in a God, Goddess, spiritual force, karma, or universal balance, pray for peace. Meditate upon kindness. Wish them better – nobody who is whole and happy seeks out strangers to deliberately target hatred.
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“Please, pray for peace. Send that out there into the world and extinguish the hatred with kindness.
“Stay positive. There are good people and strong voices here. Be one of them, and not one of the others. With love, because if I have not love I have nothing.”
A statement sent to PinkNews from UKIP reads: “UKIP utterly denounces the vile and uncalled for twitter troll that is masquerading as Alex Wood. We are very sorry for the offence it has caused and treat it and the sentiments it expresses with the contempt it deserves. We have been in contact with Twitter and hope that they will delete the account as quickly as possible. So to people like Jack Monroe and Owen Jones we can only feel sympathy, no matter our differences they do not deserve these coarse and unpleasant attacks.
“Political discourse can be robust but must keep within boundaries of decency. We are also concerned that a young man is having his own name and reputation dragged through the mud, again.”
Monroe last year caused controversy when she tweeted last year using the #CameronMustGo hashtag, that David Cameron: “Uses stories about his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric to legitimise selling our NHS to his friends.”
Sarah Vine, who is married to Government Chief Whip Michael Gove, wrote a Daily Mail column in response questioning whether she should have had a child because sheis gay.