It seems that possibly the most influential and high profile tweeter - Stephen Fry , has quit.
Seemingly in response to an earlier tweet , Stephen Fry has decided to quit due to too much unkindness. This is a serious amount of pressure on that one person who, not surprisingly, is a little surprised at the outcome of his actions. As equally unsurprising, Twitter is not letting Stephen go without a fight. Run a search for stephenfry and you can see the support pouring in. At the time of writing (11:15pm on Saturday) there's around 100 updates a minute. Such support shows the strong community aspect that Twitter followers and indeed, what a popular man Stephen is. There are endless messages of support and calls for him to not to leave.
Twitter has also shown an uglier side this evening and I think we need to spare a thought for the person that supposedly started the response @brumplum . Do a search for his name on Twitter and you see a rather different response :
These tweets are just a couple of examples out there and I didn't have to scroll that far to find them. Albeit that there is now a small level of support coming in for brumplum (Richard), this has shown a new side to Twitter. Let's not forget that all this person has done was voice an opinion on Stephen Fry that was actually relatively tame and he has since apologised for his actions (and is consequently signing off Twitter until the morning. Can't say I blame him).
What we're seeing on Twitter this evening is really no different to mob mentality. Stephen Fry is being held up, defended and idolised, while an innocent person is being abused and slandered, for..... having an opinion. It seems that some people have lost sight of Twitter is all about and are using it to gang up and bully. I know I've certainly said far worse about famous people on Twitter and I would be shocked if I received the level of abuse that Richard has.
Twitter has certainly revealed a new side to itself tonight and I think we're witnessing an interesting phenomenon in human behaviour. The tone of the supportive tweets for Stephen would suggest that the situation is more serious than it actually is and with most mob situations,Ã‚ the normal level of common sense has gone out the window amid the hysteria. His last tweet said that he would probably be back in a few days but clearly thousands feel they would be lost without him. I think he adds a lot to the space, but not at the expense of abusing others. Ironically, the very thing that prompted Stephen's announcement in the first place.