Mic Wright is getting fed up of the pseudonymous coward making his life a misery on Twitter.
Hello. You don’t know me. I am a nobody. I write a few things on the internet. I have a few followers on Twitter, but, relatively speaking, I’m no one. But in the internet age, the bar has been considerably lowered when it comes to gathering obsessive people who hate you. Congratulations! Crazy bastards who want to hurt you are available to everyone. You don’t even have to be a D-list celebrity with a fragrance and a vajazzle.
I received my first death threat when I was 22 years old, working on Stuff magazine. Someone left me a voicemail to tell me that they were going to slit my throat. The good news is that my throat is still as pristine as it has ever been. In fact, my complexion is quite lovely. The thing about death threats is: real killers don’t make them, they just kill you. It’s like threatening suicide. The ones who threaten it tend not to go through with it.
On Twitter, idiots spawn like enemies in a bad first-person shooter. I admit that my Twitter feed can provide rich pickings. I am not adverse to calling out people I disagree with. In recent months, I’ve had run-ins with EDL racists, Justin Bieber fans and national newspaper columnists.
Guess who are the worst? Correct: nominally Left-leaning newspaper columnists who are anti-bullying except when it comes to people they don’t agree with. Now, I’m not complaining, they can slag me off all they like – that’s life in the NFL, as Justin Timberlake’s Sean Parker so wisely put it – but now there’s something more sinister at work.
Over the weekend, a new Twitter account popped up under the name “brokenrecordboy”. I had got wind already that some people in the Fleet Street shit show who don’t like me much had been calling me Broken Record Boy (an oh-so-clever take on my Twitter username, @brokenbottleboy) and had commented on this.
Suddenly, “brokenrecordboy” was born. I had brought my own nasty little Frankenstein’s monster to life.
“Brokenrecordboy” doesn’t like me much but he (and it is a he) certainly knows a lot about what I like to tweet and write about. (Coincidentally, I had a public bust-up with a music writer who plies his trade for a national newspaper just a few days before “brokenrecordboy” emerged, but let’s not make any accusations.)
They – and by “they”, I mean mewling quims at the Guardian - constantly talk of not feeding the trolls and never straying beneath the line into the comment sections. Friends on Twitter told me not to respond or promote this little git. But I needed to, because it was using my name and my Twitter bio.
This is not simply sockpuppeting of the Johann Hari model, but actual impersonation. They are trading on my bad name.
I’m going to say it here and I don’t care if they derive pleasure from it: this damn Twitter account spoiled my Sunday morning and it hurt my feelings. Yes, I have feelings. It was petty and mean and done from behind a badly drawn Iron Man mask (perhaps the greatest insult of all).
The most offensive thing is that it simply isn’t funny. Mock me as much as you like but bloody well do a good job of it.
The biggest obsession for “brokenrecordboy” is that I get upset and that I don’t back down in arguments. I don’t think either of those is a bad thing. That I criticise those I disagree with in the open is a matter of principle: I have long criticised opinion pieces published by Laurie Penny and Owen Jones. Due credit to both of them, they have engaged in debate and Owen and I have now brokered a kind of truce.
The person behind “brokenrecordboy” is a coward. I will find out who they are and I will confront them. If they want to fight me, I offer up the classic Liam Gallagher challenge: pick your day and meet me at the top of Primrose Hill.
It’s about time the duel was revived. No pistols though. Fists and quips should be the order of the day. This is the internet; it’s your right to hate me. It’s your right to abuse me. But from behind a mask? With crap jokes? Using my own name against me?
Step up, coward. I dare you.
Mic Wright is a contributing editor to The Kernel and author of our upcoming report on technology recruitment firms, to be published on 4 June.