It’s time to panic. I read at the weekend that sophisticated hackers have burrowed their way into no less than 250,000 Twitter accounts. What shall we do? Henceforth, when we read that Stephen Fry has just eaten a sandwich, we cannot be absolutely certain that it is the real Stephen Fry who has eaten the sandwich or a shadowy interloper masquerading as Stephen Fry. Or Joey Barton, when he tells us that he wants to stamp on someone’s throat – well, it might not be Joey at all. Fascinating and incisive Tweets about matters of the day from non-celebrities – Camron u r a f****** joke lol #shinyfacedrichboy – will suddenly lose their power to persuade when we cannot be absolutely certain as to their authenticity. The entire idiotsphere is thrown off its axis and life may not be the same again.
Incidentally, I see Mary Beard was ‘gobsmacked‘ by my article which suggested she was talking rot about the abuse she received online. My point was pretty simple: the abuse was not motivated by her gender, but by her insouciance and stupidity. Comments about her gender and appearance were merely a case of the imbeciles who chunter away online grasping at something nice and easy to beat her with. Men get the same sort of treatment. I do not remotely see how she cannot grasp this.
More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.