There have been countless complaints in the recent past to Twitter about the content posted there by pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins. There have also been countless instances of her gleefully posting responses from Twitter telling her that she had not violated any of the platform’s rules. This would be accompanied by a little light goading of those complaining. And so the cycle would begin again.
Viewers may still want to look away now
Even Twitter had, it seems, no wish to rid itself of this perennial bad penny, as she turned up to stir hatred and dispense a little casual racist bigotry. Until now. Because the Hopkins Twitter feed has all but vanished. All that is left are two reports of Tweets that have been removed as they violated the Twitter rules, and a Retweet of Nitin Sawhney.
What's she doing here?
What Sawhney said gave a clue as to what has happened: “If Katie Hopkins’ latest tweets on Stormzy don’t constitute incitement to racial hatred I really don’t know what does. She is a criminal. [Twitter] needs to act”. She had been goading Stormzy.
But the deletions did not happen by accident. After one Tweeter saw the now minimalist Hopkins Twitter presence and mused “On the eve of #Brexit, it appears that Twitter are taking back control of #KTHopkins”, anti-fascist campaigner Louise Raw, who you can tell as she’s a Doctor, replied “It’s Rachel Riley related, unfortunately!” It is?
It seems it really is. This is what Ms Riley has posted: “I met with [Twitter] yesterday with [Imran Ahmed] from [The Centre for Countering Digital Hate] and asked them among other things to review George Galloway & Katie Hopkins's presence on their platform. I am pleased to see that action appears to have been taken! This is what happens when they have the #WillToAct”. One observer was thankful for the action, but mildly sceptical.
“Sad that, despite the many thousands of reports Twitter will have received, they only actually act when someone famous gets involved”. Especially given the scores of dedicated anti-fascists who have laboured tirelessly to remind Twitter that Hatey Katie is not some mere ingenue who has fallen in with a bad crowd. She is the bad crowd. Also, the CCDH has some kind of status here? That would be news to many campaigners.
We should, though, be thankful for small mercies, as Louise Raw has told. “Despite Riley’s crowing, we should also note the tireless reporting and exposure of Hopkins by anti fascists etc. And she’s not gone yet! But well done, all right-thinking folk who have done the ground work here. Some cheerful news this chilly Thursday!” It is true that the Hopkins Twitter feed may be bare, but it is, as I type, still extant.
In the meantime, knowing that Katie Hopkins had around 1.1 million Twitter followers, and having first-hand knowledge of what happens when the far-right decides to come after you, I have one word of advice for all those in extremist wacko land who may now be thinking that a pile-on of Rachel Riley, accompanied by the usual threats, may be a good thing.
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