'Social media is a gift for the malign': JK Rowling opens up on death threats and her war on trolls

'I sort of have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it now. I can happily go for a few days without getting into a pub brawl,' Rowling said

'Social media is a gift for the malign': JK Rowling opens up on death threats and her war on trolls
JK Rowling received death threats online after she supported fellow author Salman Rushdie (R) following his brutal stabbing (Joe Maher/Getty Images, John Philip/Getty Images)
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LONDON, ENGLAND: JK Rowling hit back at trolls and bullies during the 'Virgin Radio Show UK' with Graham Norton. The famous novelist JK Rowling stated, "Social media can be a lot of fun and I do like the pub argument aspect of it." The 'Harry Potter' author has been targeted by trolls repeatedly after making critical comments. 

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During the show with Norton, Rowling said, "There’s no doubt that social media is a gift for people who want to behave in a malign way." Rowling has been receiving several threats on social media after she supported Salman Rushdie who was brutally stabbed in a recent attack in New York.

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According to DailyMail, when asked about preventing social media trolls and threats, she said, "I’m not sure any individual can. I try to behave online as I would like others to behave. I wouldn’t ever want to... I’ve never threatened anyone, obviously, and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to their houses or anything like that."

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"I sort of have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it now. I can happily go for a few days without getting into a pub brawl," she added.

She then informed that her latest novel series titled 'The Ink Black Heart', which has been written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, is about a cartoonist trolled online by a fan. However, the book has nothing to do with the threats that she has faced in real life.

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In early August 2022, Rowling had a tough time dealing with death threats on Twitter. The author tweeted that she was "feeling very sick now" and "let him be ok" after Rushdie was stabbed in New York. However, an Islamic extremist then threatened Rowling, tweeting, "You are next". Though it was reported to Twitter, there were no effective measures taken from the team. However, the police are currently investigating the issue.

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Talking about it, Rowling continued, "More echoes than I realized because I should make it really clear after some of the things that have happened to me online in the last year, I had written the book before certain things happened to me online."

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Speaking about her social media usage, Rowling said, "I did actually take, I think, a whole year off Twitter, or quite a long time, and then when Covid happened...I actually didn't go back on for the pub brawl stuff. I went back on it because I wanted to do The Ickabog - so that was a children's book for those who don't know. And so I wanted to put it out for free and Twitter was a really good [place to do so]."

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The legendary writer was speaking to Graham Norton on 'Virgin Radio Show' (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images, Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Disney)
The legendary writer was speaking to Graham Norton (R) on 'Virgin Radio Show' (Dia Dipasupil, and Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Rowling has also spoken against 'cancel culture' in the past. Meanwhile, about not being a part of the 'Harry Potter' reunion, she said, "I was asked to be on that and I decided I didn't want to be a part of it, it was about the films not the books, quite rightly. That was what the anniversary was about. So no one said don't [do it]… I was asked to do it and I decided not to." 

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