"You don't appear to understand how Twitter or defamation works. I'm going to help you out with the latter," read a tweet from JK Rowling to Member of Parliament for Glasgow East Natalie McGarry sent yesterday (28 January 2016). The message came in response to a tweet that the MP posted on the same day claiming the author "defends abusive misogynist trolls".
Some of Rowling's tweets hinted that she might consider legal action against McGarry on the grounds of defamation.
The war of words started after McGarry accused the Harry Potter creator on Twitter of supporting an account under the name of @BrianSpanner1, an anti-Scottish Nationalist whom the Glasgow MP referred to as a 'troll' and 'abuser'. Rowling had at one point called him a 'good man' after he donated money towards her Lumos children's charity.
"Wow @jkrowling vanity searched her name & then defends abusive misogynist trolls. Extraordinary. Almost makes me regret queueing for books," the MP posted via her Twitter handle.
Rowling, who is an active Twitter user, responded almost immediately to the post asking for an explanation, also asking McGarry, "Show me where I have defended misogyny and abuse, please". To this, the MP posted a screenshot of a post sent from the account of @BrianSpanner1, but did not expand further on her accusations against Rowling.
Rowling then posted the following regarding her @BrianSpanner1 post:
However, things got more heated when the MP tweeted what turned out to be a 'cut and paste' screenshot made to look like Rowling was supportive of a negative political comment made by @BrianSpanner1. Following the series of tweets, the MP tweeted that she planned to quit the social network.