The Guardian has reported that the author has been subjected to a large amount of criticism on Twitter after she published the following:
The phenomenon is known as ‘dogpiling’ – many people posting unfriendly responses in short order to a single social media comment.
Some might argue that the adverse responses are justified. After all, nobody who supports Jeremy Corbyn has suggesting that him winning the Labour leadership election is in any way comical, and she does not support her comment with any evidence that Mr Corbyn will be bad for the Labour Party or the United Kingdom.
Some might argue that she is getting some of her own medicine. Ms Rowling is no stranger to the ‘dogpile’, having created at least one of her own – against This Writer.
After my piece on Jess Phillips and her panic room, Ms Rowling tweeted:
As you will undoubtedly know already, Dear Reader, I did not write the words attributed to me by this hugely successful writer – of fiction.
But the thinly-veiled accusation of misogyny was enough to launch a multitude of aggressive and abusive tweets in my direction, mostly – it seems – from people who never bothered to read the article that provoked it.
So nobody should be surprised if I say Ms Rowling has no right to any sympathy at all. I wouldn’t want to start a dogpile against her, mind.
But then, she seems entirely capable of doing that, all by herself.
Ms Rowling’s point of view does warrant scrutiny. It is well known that she wrote her first published novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, while in receipt of state benefits. She now supports a candidate for the Labour leadership who did not oppose cuts to the benefit system proposed by the Conservatives – and let’s be clear: not only did he abstain on an important Parliamentary Bill, but he also spoke against scrapping the Work Capability Assessment that has driven so many people with mental health problems like depression to suicide.
I understand Ms Rowling suffered from depression while she was writing the first Harry Potter. It is hard to square her support for Mr Smith with her experience of the system in any way other than that expressed by ‘Real Labour’ on Twitter:
I should add that, as far as I am concerned, everyone is entitled to their point of view – including Ms Rowling, inconsistent though it may be. I made that point very clear – with reference to her – before the Labour leadership election stirred up everybody’s emotions:
That was before I saw her using her influence to attack people without good cause.
Ultimately, this is a writer who deserves nothing more than our disappointment.
She has a huge following and could use her influence to do a huge amount of good. But here we see her indulging in nothing but petty, vindictive and – in my case, at least – false accusations. Shame on her.
JK Rowling has tweeted her frustration with the likely re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, claiming the party will not laugh in the future because “this isn’t bloody funny”.
The message from the author of the Harry Potter series, who has more than 8 million followers, triggered a huge response from supporters of the Labour leader, who attacked the message, to others who backed her for expressing the view.
Rowling has been an outspoken critic of Corbyn for a while, and has tried to support the Saving Labour movement that is backing Owen Smith in the leadership contest.
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