Fry deactivated his account yesterday after being criticised for a joke he made at the BAFTAs
Stephen Fry has explained why he has decided to leave Twitter, saying the social media platform has become a “stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous”.
Fry deactivated his Twitter account yesterday (February 15) after being bombarded with tweets criticising a joke he made while hosting the BAFTA Film Awards the previous evening.
During the ceremony, Jenny Beavan picked up the Costume Design prize for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road. Shortly after leaving the stage with her BAFTA trophy, Fry said of Beavan: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards ceremony dressed like a bag lady.”
Fry then told those offended by the joke to “fuck off” before taking down his Twitter account.
“It’s no big deal – as it shouldn’t be. But yes, for anyone interested I have indeed deactivated my twitter account,” he wrote in a blog post on his website yesterday. “I’ve ‘left’ Twitter before, of course: many people have time off from it whether they are in the public eye or not. Think of it as not much more than leaving a room.”
“I like to believe I haven’t slammed the door, much less stalked off in a huff throwing my toys out of the pram as I go or however one should phrase it,” Fry continued. “It’s quite simple really: the room had started to smell. Really quite bad.”
Later in the blog post, Fry added: “Let us grieve at what Twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined.”
Fry also sought to pre-empt a counter-argument pointing out that the “foul” people on Twitter are in the minority. “Indeed they are,” he wrote. “But I would contend that just one turd in a reservoir is enough to persuade one not to drink from it. 99.9% of the water may be excrement free, but that doesn’t help. With Twitter, for me at least, the tipping point has been reached and the pollution of the service is now just too much.”