This morning, it seemed that the Sky News (“first for breaking wind”) Twitter feed was having an April Fool rehearsal as it told followers “Today is Positive Twitter Day, a campaign to make debates more civil and challenge abusive online behaviour. Guido Fawkes, Paul Staines, is on Sunrise at 8.15am to discuss civility and trust in social media”.
The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines was lecturing us on civility and trust in social media? Yes, put it in the can for the morning of April 1st, 2020. Job done. But no, this was for real, and The Great Guido was indeed pontificating on the subject. He does, it is true, know all about not being civil on social media. And that could be why this is a campaign that may be destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage.
Mollie Goodfellow led the way in responding with a little scepticism to Staines’ apparent Damascene conversion. “The Paul Staines who photoshopped himself into a crude pic of Diane Abbott and published it online? Who has published hit jobs on young women in politics which has caused them to change careers? Baffled”.
Not far behind was Abby Tomlinson of former Milifandom fame, who found herself on the wrong end of the Fawkes massive’s smear machine before her 18th birthday: “Articles Guido wrote about me when I was SEVENTEEN led to me receiving a ton of rape and death threats that made my life hell but go off I guess”. And it gets worse.
How much worse can be seen by a brief perusal of the Staines Twitter oeuvre, where civility is, and has been, very much at a premium. Here’s a few examples of the shafts of wit emanating from him over the recent past: “Oh do fuck off … Fuck off with trying to patronise me. 2. I see you are a carbon racketeer. 3. Your debunk is from a junk science left wing site … Diddums. Now fuck off and get down the Court to tell them someone was rude to you on Twitter … The whole GuyNewsroom chorused ‘Fuck Off bellend’".
The last of those was from 2016, so recent enough to show that, when Staines fetches up on Sky News, he is speaking very much with forked tongue. And the F-word is not the only intensive that he deploys when Tweeting. Here’s more of his civility.
“Exhibitionist. Am just fed up of bedwetting mongs who tell me ‘you can't say that I'm offended’. Fuck off, stop following me … Fuck off you disingenuous lying cunts [that from 2017] … Is telling you to ‘fuck off’ politically incorrect? … Please accept a full refund and fuck off … Fuck off, it is my property - not a commons”. And talking of the M-word?
“Didn't defend the workhouse you mong. I compared the workhouses to left-wing blogs … Well I know who created it because he asked me to publicise it. You on the other hand are some mong on Twitter with an opinion … Self described ranting mong on Twitter claims to have read and grasped economics paper. Bovvered … Mong … Look you mong, you have no right to not be offended, if you don't like the blog. Fuck off with your spazzy censorious ways”. And there he is telling us all how to be more civil.
Sky News earns itself an epic research fail. And The Great Guido shows that shameless hypocrisy is no barrier to media establishment acceptance. Another fine mess.
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