Users of Twitter were shocked yesterday after famously unpleasant and witless media entity Katie Hopkins wrote an unpleasant and witless tweet mocking the deaths of five men at Camber Sands beach, in an outburst that has been described as “the most unexpected thing since Anjem Choudaray’s conviction”.
Former The Apprentice contestant and Milo Yiannapoulos-wannabe Hopkins posted a Twitter poll following Wednesday’s tragedy, in which she asked her followers to guess whether the victims were “aspiring footballers”, “mentally ill”, “fans of Anders Brevik” or “big fans of inflatables”, in a message that appears to be a simultaneous commentary on poor GSCE results.
Despite posting a similar poll regarding the deaths of three in Brussels on Monday and risking the wrath of “troll police” online, Hopkins failed to justify her shock-jock approach by missing a clear opportunity to mock Ryan Lochte, Transocean Winner and global warming, instead using an awkward repetition of “fans” and referring to a culturally irrelevant serial killer with no connection to the sea.
Further to this, the outrage and shock that Hopkins would say something outrageous and shocking online in a move as inexplicable as it is attention-grabbing has been diluted by confusion over why “aspiring footballers” would be the identity of the dead, given the lack of a contextual comparison to draw from, or why “big fans of inflatables” wouldn’t have inflatables to prevent drowning.
And Hopkins, who recently fell for a satirical online article saying that Guardian readers were being given literal bubbles to live in, could now face legal action from police, who reported her to Twitter, who in turn reported her to the police, who will presumably now report her to Twitter, and then vice versa ad infinitum et ad nauseam.
It is believed that there is a legal grey area which could prevent immediate arrest, due to the tweet in question arguably not qualifying as a hate crime, and Sussex Police have already moved to reassure the public that ‘bad taste’ is not in of itself a criminal offence, unless the taste itself is the fire which has been deployed on your tongue, face and body by another.
Whether or not Hopkins is charged on this occasion, it is fair to say that her continued Twitter foibles are proving an inflammatory source of chagrined abjection, with fellow Tweeter @KimYoungIll writing: “Can’t believe it. Why would she say this? I can’t think of a reason. Does she not know everyone will be talking about her? #DontGetIt”.
A user called @DaveSpandexIII said “Most shock since Anjem Choudray conviction; why does she say things like dis? @lolwut?”, while Sussex Police themselves responded to complaints on their official account by commenting: “Simply not appropriate to joke about five deaths the day after the incident. You need to wait at least a week.”
And @GreenGrass4GreenFolks summed up much of the public mood by saying: “A horrible, hateful person, really do hate her. If she can’t learn not to be mean, I’m going to burn her house and kill her kids. Cue alt-right death threats #!.”
Though the post has since been deleted, leaving the result of the poll unknown, outdoor philanderer Hopkins is free to tweet at her leisure, meaning that her bafflingly motivated assault on good taste and sensitivity will continue as unabated as her inability to string together a half-decent joke.