Soccer player Darron Gibson trended on Twitter in the UK today in a way he apparently didn’t much care for.
After signing up for a Twitter account in the morning, the Manchester United midfielder closed it just about two hours later after a barrage of nasty tweets.
Here’s how events played out, as reported by The Score:
First, teammate Rio Ferdinand apparently persuaded Gibson to join Twitter. Ferdinand, rioferdy5, introduced Gibson, dgibbo28, on the social networking site.
rioferdy5: We have a new member from the Man utd crew… @dgibbo28 has joined twitterverse show him some love tweeps!
And some tweeps did show Gibson some love:
hamzaheer @dgibbo28 Don’t listen to the #haters u are where u are on merit. I’ve never seen a ball hit as well as you.
Perhaps the most prescient tweet was this one:
roblad1982 @dgibbo28 welcome to twitter pal. Just remember not to take it all too serious #itsbeenemotional #19isourdestiny
But Gibson was barraged with negative comments. The Score even ran a story saying that the tweets had driven Gibson off Twitter, and ran a list of 10 of the offending statements.
thejournal_ie: Here are the Tweets that made Darron Gibson, @dgibbo28, quit Twitter within two hours http://jrnl.ie/126204 #mufc
Some of the tweets cited by The Score included:
benlennon7: @rootytooty11 @dgibbo28 nothing would me make happier than if we sold you this summer, you’re probably a nice bloke, but an awful footballer
ash28x: @dgibbo28 u offer nothing to united. Do us all a favour and hand in a transfer request u spud
jameskiddo: @dgibbo28 you are a abysmal excuse for a footballer. You’re a one trick pony … What Fergie sees in you I don’t know…
Most people inferred that Gibson was hounded from Twitter by the torrent of invective, but there were some reports, including an update at The Score, that suggested it wasn’t the content of the messages as much as the quantity.
OliverKayTimes: Killjoy alert: For what it’s worth I’m told Darron Gibson quit Twitter because he “couldn’t be done with his phone going mad.”(Yes, turn off notifications, I know. Just passing it on … And those who abused him are still idiots) http://deck.ly/~r6Wx9
His teammate Rio Ferdinand said the same thing, in a tweet he posted nine hours after his original introduction of Gibson:
rioferdy5: Darron Gibson says he came on to see what the lads were up to….he came off because he couldn’t be bothered with it not any other reason.
The incident has stirred a discussion about online civility. Some of those who insulted Gibson stood by their insults, but others felt they’d made a mistake. Some, under the hashtag #getgibboback, have been hoping Gibson would change his mind.
CautiousPaul: @OliverKayTimes Want to apologise publicly to Gibson and anyone who read much more into it than I intended. Meant as harmless pub banter.
PaulThistleton: @rioferdy5 Get @dgibbo28 back on here! Top midfielder! Should play more games for the reds, sure his time will come…
jonnymufc78: @dgibbo28 seriously, wise up. Don’t agree with personal abuse but we all entitiled to our opinion. Am I right?
Stephen824854: @thejournal_ie @dgibbo28 Nice bloke. Awful footballer. Not exactly insulting is it???
faizarsyadw: Critique is one thing, but abuse is just not classy. #getgibboback
theburpingcamel: Abuse leads Darron Gibson, @dgibbo28, to quit Twitter within two hours. Not our finest feat, fellow Netizens http://bit.ly/hAqMSF