PM: Twitter full of 'trolls, bottom feeders'

  • 06/05/2014

The Prime Minister has made his thoughts about people who use social media clear, and it is not pretty.

John Key says many of them are "trolls and bottom feeders" and he is glad his Justice Minister is no longer among them.

"The PM and I agreed that it's time for me to take a couple of days and regroup with my family," says Judith Collins. "I think that's good advice."

Mr Key had one other sage piece of advice – steer clear of Twitter.

"My view of social media is that there's a lot of trolls and bottom feeders on that and in the end they get in people's head," says Mr Key.

He's not referring to his minister getting in people's heads, but others are. Labour MP Grant Robertson says it is "one less troll on Twitter".

One-hundred-and-six MPs use Twitter. Many have felt the stab of Ms Collins' typing fingers since she joined. She described a speech by Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei as "vile, wrong and ugly, just like her jacket".

During her meltdown at the weekend, the media weren't spared either, with Ms Collins unfairly accusing TVNZ reporter Katie Bradford of lying.

Now, like a teenager who's had their internet access suspended for naughty behaviour, Ms Collins has sworn off the social media website that she once embraced.

"It's actually a lot of fun and it's a good way of letting out," she said last month. "Sometimes if you're the subject of a particularly nasty, vicious, personal attack, it's quite nice to have a little go-back."

But apparently none of it is as nice as it used to be.

"It's not a good space to be and it's actually quite a forum where people can be very abusive towards me," says Ms Collins. "I'm just not doing it."

Squeezing his way out of an uncomfortable situation, the Prime Minister is as relieved as anyone.

"She's engaged with people who have been engaging with her and just spending too much time focused on that and actually not enough time on the other issues," he says.

So the fight has gone out of Ms Collins, on Twitter at least. After nearly 6000 tweets, her last for now was an apology.

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source: newshub archive