Katie Hopkins is everywhere. All over our Facebook feeds, all over the papers, websites, daytime TV. And wherever she is, she's offending a group of people who then become outraged and fight back, or pouring her unique brand of vitriol all over another group that can't speak back to her. In the past month she's hit out at Ed Miliband using jibes about autism and the Holocaust; a few weeks ago her wrath was targeted at migrants who died trying to flee their war-torn countries and find a better life in Europe. Last year I remember being annoyed at an interview with her where she blasted women for taking maternity leave, branding it a year's holiday that bleeds companies dry.
Nobody is safe from her opinions. If it's controversial she's in the thick of it. And she makes people angry. So angry. Not just 'toss the newspaper aside' kind of angry, but proper seething, want to punch something, kind of angry. Some people shout in frustration at their computer screens, some people direct their energy into setting up petitions or writing articles to her or about her. Anything that will get across the point of view of the offended party and try to make Katie Hopkins see their side of the story.
But the thing is, although their arguments are solid, eloquent, sometimes humorous, in all cases better written than anything Katie Hopkins gets paid to spit onto a page, the sad thing is she doesn't care. She's not listening. The people who write these excellent articles are preaching to the converted - their views are far more popular than Ms Hopkins' own views anyway.
But I feel I need to say this again: she doesn't care. She is being paid to be vile. And she loves it.
Her self esteem is so low that she really truly believes that any kind of attention is good attention. So much so, that people watching her and talking about her, even with malice, makes her feel validated. She probably feels she is changing the world one controversial column at a time. I don't even think she herself believes many of the opinions she peddles. She just says what she knows will get people upset. Because then they will notice her. And that makes her happy.
And the question all of us ask constantly is 'Why?' Why is she being published? What right minded media gatekeeper is putting her crap out there as commentary? Why, why, why?
And the answer to this question lies in every post of hers you've ever seen shared on Facebook. Because along with the article, is a barrage of comments about how foul Katie Hopkins is. People who don't even comment or share articles that often, come out of the woodwork to comment on their friends' shared posts about the latest Katie Hopkins story. Then they hit share to show their friends just how unbelievably vile this woman is.
And the media companies publishing her stuff? They win big from this behaviour. Unfortunately, everything Katie Hopkins says goes viral. And that's because we share everything she says.
The worse she is, the more people click through to see what she's saying. A morbid curiosity perhaps, but to the media owner, it's just click-throughs. It means they can charge more money for the ads on that page because they're being seen more than the ads on the page of the well written, positive, and uncontroversial article elsewhere.
The more we hate her and the more we talk about how much we hate her, the more we are going to the very sites that are publishing her. Which means the more they will publish her. A genuinely vicious circle.
It's sad. It's sad that good writing about uplifting subjects doesn't get the same attention. But we are the problem. The consumers. We love to consume stuff that makes us angry. We enjoy having a rant about it.
The way to get rid of her is not to write open letter type articles asking her to stop. It's not to set up petitions asking the newspapers publishing her to stop. Because those things just give the media companies publicity. 'Any publicity is good publicity' they say in the business, and Katie Hopkins brings them publicity, no doubt about it.
The only way to stop her is not to feed the troll. Don't click through to read articles that she's written or where she's quoted. If she's on daytime TV don't call in to have a rant at her, or comment on the TV programme's Facebook page. Don't tweet about her, don't write about her, don't comment about her.
My plea is to the consuming public. Ignore everything she does. Ignore the media that publishes her. Because refusing to consume her disgusting drivel is the only way we can make a stand against her, and get her off our computer screens and out of our newspapers.Suggest a correction