Owen Jones Becomes Latest To Quit Social Media

He said he has received descriptions of how people want to 'torture and murder' him.

Owen Jones has said he is quitting social media because it is “completely and utterly depressing”.

The journalist revealed he has been sent torture and death threats, among other abuse, online, and said that he felt that social media was no longer a useful platform for debate.

In a Facebook post, he said that he would only use Facebook and Twitter to share stories, videos and events.

Owen Jones said he will be stepping away from social media
Owen Jones said he will be stepping away from social media
Jack Taylor via Getty Images

He said: “On a daily basis I have angry strangers yelling at me, on the one hand, that I’m responsible for the destruction of the Labour Party, and on the other, I’m a right-wing sellout careerist who’s allied to Tony Blair and possibly in the pay of the Israeli government (and that I’m a Blairite c*** who needs to go fuck myself, and so on and so forth).

“What unites both of these groups is an almost chronic inability to accept political disagreement in good faith. Nope: there has to be some sinister ulterior motive.

“Their belief is so righteous and pure than the only possible reason for someone disagreeing with it is malice or greed. That I’m a careerist, obsessed with my own profile, driven by selling books or making money, that the Guardian have brainwashed me, that I was never really left-wing, and so on and so forth.

“Nobody who actually knows me thinks I’m driven by anything other than what I believe, even when they disagree with me. Both my parents are staunch supporters of Jeremy Corbyn; they’re leading members of their local Momentum branch. They don’t agree with lots of what I’ve said. Unlike the increasingly frothing keyboard warriors, neither doubts for a second that what I says comes from the heart.

“I find myself constantly engaging with people denouncing my motives while sending abuse. And my friends ask: What are you doing? Why are you wasting your life on this nonsense? And they’re just right.”

Jones has been a vocal supporter of the Labour party but has recently questioned Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Jones said that he had received threats from far-right extremists “sending ever more creative descriptions of how they’re going to torture and murder me”, although he did not say if he had reported these threats to the police.

He added: “I’m no longer convinced social media is as useful a tool for political debate and discussion as it once was.”

Read his full post here.

Labour MP Jess Phillips has received a torrent of abuse online
Labour MP Jess Phillips has received a torrent of abuse online
Nicola Tree via Getty Images

Last year Labour MP Jess Philips said she had considering leaving Twitter after she was sent a barrage of rape threats.

Tory MP for Brigg and Goole Andrew Percy, quit the platform back in May due to abuse.

According to the Birmingham Mail, he said: “We’ve always had (abuse), but it’s an increasingly aggressive and nasty environment with people making personal and abusive comments.

“In the past week I’ve been called fat, ugly, corrupt, a Nazi. In the past I’ve had anti-semitic abuse.”

More recently, singer Lily Allen said she had handed over control of her Twitter account to a friend for a period after she received horrific abuse about the stillbirth of her baby.

Other high profile people to quit or take breaks from social media include former Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins, comedian Stephen Fry, Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones and Game of Thrones star Faye Marsay.


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