Stephen Fry. To most, the posh man off QI who even working class people think is great because he talks about sex a lot and loves Twitter more than any other. To Jan Moir, however, he is Hell incarnate with an expensive tie and an iPhone.
Like everybody else in the world who has nothing better to do, I too (like Stephen Fry, if not because of Stephen Fry) have a Twitter account.
I, too saw his angry torrent of Jan Moir-related Tweets build gradually throughout the day of 22nd October 2009, infiltrating my sparse Twitter board of updates with the most, beautifully fluent, albeit vicious, rage.
I clicked, I saw, I didn’t really see what the fuss was about, to be frank.
What did strike me though was how, peculiarly and quite worryingly, I was more angry about the article before I read it.
It showed me in the most basic and garish way, that I, too was a social networking sheep. I had already taken the side of Stephen Fry before I gave the poor woman a chance. A chance which she decidedly did not deserve but that’s not really the point I’m getting at.
The PPC to date, has had an alleged 21,000 complaints regarding the notorious article Moir wrote about Stephen Gateley’s death, and the article itself a humbling 1601 comments (go Jan!).
Now, for a start, I’m not sure that there are even 21,000 people in the world who would willingly pick up the Daily Mail, none the less read the Dear-Diary-with-a-thesaurus of Ms Moir. So the complaints, obviously must have come from an outside influence.
Cue Stephen Fry (again). He actively encouraged people to complain by posting the link to the Press Complaints Commission AND The Daily Mail website itself.
Being the king of the hill in Twitter-land meant that, of course, people complained. They then posted the link into their update, which people clicked on. Who then complained. I think you see where I’m going with this.
Several Facebook groups and ‘fan’ pages were made and the bandwagon continued to grow, with the story becoming global in no time at all.
The point is, that Gordon Brown could have gone on every Freeview channel live simultaneously, asking people to complain about Jan Moir’s article, and the PPC would have probably seen more complaints about him being on all Freeview channels at once and forcing his boring voice and undeniably strange breathing-in thing that he frequently does on the nation.
In a way, Stephen Fry did have the upper hand.
a) The British public do love to complain
b) He’s Stephen Bloody Fry (Plus no one knew Jan Moir, and to add insult to injury her profile picture was horrible).
His online influence is phenomenal, let’s make no bones.
He was just a clever man with a nice voice who made rubbish documentaries about snails and frogs worth watching, and through Twitter, he has become a cyber God.
I mean, who doesn’t want to know what a posh well-travelled man off the telly does all day? I know I do. His sharp with and constant sexual references are an addition to the entertainment, I won’t lie to you.
The man seems to have built a virtual empire off the back of a site that wasn’t very popular because it was just like Facebook only without the pictures. Like The Very Hungry Caterpillar in black and white.
The influence of the media in our everyday lives has been inevitable since the first newspaper was published, but with Social Networking comes a whole different type of relationship, where we suddenly have the chance to be the hand that feeds, as opposed to the fed.