Toby Young feels the bite as Twitter users attack
The Telegraph columnist is flamed three times in a fortnight after Caitlin Moran rounds on him
The attack dogs of Twitter are on the rampage once again, and this time they have Daily Telegraph columnist Toby Young in their sights.
He has been savaged by users of the social networking site for a third time in two weeks for having the temerity to write an article in the Spectator in which he takes umbrage at his previous 'flamings' (orchestrated attacks by users).
Young's initial crime was to write a piece for the Telegraph after the death of Alexander McQueen in which he questioned the fashion designer's "genius", given how flippantly the word is used in fashion circles, and talked about the "cult of personality" that had grown up around McQueen.
This displeased several fellow journos, among them Alex Petridis of the Guardian and Caitlin Moran of the Times, who both tweeted their outrage at Young's article, lighting the touchpaper for flaming number one. Some of the more hysterical Twitterati even suggested Young's column was as bad as the incendiary piece by Daily Mail writer Jan Moir on the death of Stephen Gately
As Young himself pointed out in his subsequent piece for the Spectator: "The problem is, journalists tend to have a lot of followers on Twitter and these fans instantly 'retweet' anything controversial their heroes say."
Moran continued her assault the following week, tweeting that "the reliability of Toby Young to be a total CUNT could be used to power the atomic clock".
Young did himself few favours by rather grandly announcing on his blog for the Telegraph that "compared to the misfortunes Cicero had to bear, being flamed on Twitter is barely a pin prick". And at the end of last week he was subjected to flaming number two, in which he found himself as one of Twitter's 'trending topics' - the most talked about subjects among users of the site - something that Young put down to "one woman's vituperation".
Young found himself as a trending topic again on Thursday and was subjected to yet another flaming after the publication of his piece in the Spectator, in which he mulled the question of whether he had become the victim of cyber-bullying - eventually deciding that he was not.
There were also several voices in support of Young on this occasion, including Moran's fellow Times writer Giles Coren who asked Moran: "He's just trying to earn a living. Why do you hate him so much?" (Although their subsequent exchange suggests there may have been an element of irony involved.)
But, as Young says in his Spectator piece, the episode reeks of playground persecution. It also harks back to the events of last year when, despite Twitter's high profile successes in lifting the Trafigura injunction and mobilising support for the NHS, leading lights such as Stephen Fry were moved to question the site's herd mentality. ·
Comments are now closed on this article