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Owen Jones has quit social media after receiving torrents of abuse

Meka Beresford March 12, 2017

Guardian journalist Owen Jones has taken a hiatus from social media after he received a torrent of abuse.

The gay commentator wrote on his Facebook page that he would no longer be using his platforms, other than to share articles, videos and events, because he received death threats.

Jones wrote that using social media had become “unproductive” and “depressing”, partly because of the “angry strangers yelling” at him.

“I find myself constantly engaging with people denouncing my motives while sending abuse. And my friends ask: What are you doing? Why are you wasting your life on this nonsense? And they’re just right.

“Added with the usual far-right extremists sending ever more creative descriptions of how they’re going to torture and murder me, I’m no longer convinced social media is as useful a tool for political debate and discussion as it once was,” Jones wrote.

The Guardian journalist went on to say that he should have expected “attack” but to him, that’s a waste.

“I know the obvious responses to this. Put your violin away, stop pitying yourself. Get a thick skin. You put your views out there, expect to get attacked. That’s how this works.

“But to be honest it isn’t about that. I’m just wasting my life. I wouldn’t choose to walk every day into a room full of total strangers screaming mindless abuse and making up what I think and what my motives are, but in a sense that’s what I’m currently doing,” he added.

The writer finalised the long explanatory piece with an appeal for his audience to come together and embrace their humanity.

“If you have beliefs driven by a sense of humanity, then that same sense of humanity should always influence how you behave.

“We can win, but only if we persuade people that don’t currently think like us. It can be done, but it isn’t easy. One day we’ll do it, and build a world far more just than the one we have today,” Jones wrote.

More: abuse, Homophobia, LGBT, Owen Jones, social media

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